The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts By: Guest Author

Condicions agreed vppon: a 17th century Polish-Turkish treaty

a guest post by Carrol Benner Kindel Introduction The subject manuscript, page 237 of Folger MS V.b.303, is contained within a “collection of political and parliamentary documents” compiled between the middle of the 16th and middle of the 17th centuries. It is a one-page list of conditions (condicions in this manuscript) proposed for an agreement between the Turkish Emperor, Osman II (1618-1622), and the Polish King, Sigismund III (1587-1632) following a war between their empires.… Continue Reading

Postcards Folger Directors Sent Me

a guest post by Stephen Grant Printed on picture side: Nothing Printed on address side: Exhibition Hall, Folger Shakespeare Library Washington, DC www.folger.edu       Barcode 0010060380        Photo by J. Ainsworth Written message: March 3, 2022 Steve: This card shows the Great Hall as we rethought it in the late eighties – illuminated strapwork ceiling and architectural features, state-of-the-art casework, solar veil window shades, and curtains fabricated by King Fahd’s draper!Continue Reading

The Fairy King’s Grimoire

A guest post by Alexander D’Agostino I am an artist working with queer histories and images, through performance and visual art. During my Artist Research Fellowship with the Folger, I am creating The Fairy King’s Grimoire: a reimagining of the magic and rituals outlined in Manuscript V.b.26, The Book of Magic with instructions for invoking spirits, etc. while considering needs and beliefs of queer people today.… Continue Reading


The art of dying

a guest post by Eileen Sperry For early modern English Christians, dying was an art form. The bestseller list of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, had there been one, would have been topped by some of the period’s many ars moriendi texts. These treatises, which took hold in England in the late 15th century and remained present through the country’s many doctrinal shifts, were wildly popular.… Continue Reading

Postcards in the (home) archive 1942-43

a guest post by Stephen Grant Printed on picture side: FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D. C. Printed on address side: PUB. BY GARRISON TOY & NOVELTY CO. WASHINGTON, D. C. THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES 14436 “COLOURPICTURE” PUBLICATION CAMBRIDGE, MASS. U. S. A. POST CARD Written message: Dear Adah—Now are you surprised to learn I’m away up here? Bernie said for VB to come at once to his job and I hopped on the train and came along on 2 hr.Continue Reading

When the Body is Ill, The Mind Suffers: Shakespeare’s Unravelling of Women’s Hysteria and Madness in the Elizabethan Era

a guest post by Alexandria Zlatar During my research fellowship with the Folger Institute, my investigation has undertaken an exploration into a highly under-represented aspect of mental health and has focused on lived-in experiences of mental illness in Shakespearian England. What did it mean not only to treat mental illness but also create art and write about these experiences? There have been dominant answers to this question throughout literary studies, which have traditionally emphasized the focus of “illness” and reinforced the notion that people were too un-fit to function.… Continue Reading

Performing Diplomacy and Selling Spectacle

a guest post by Nat Cutter In this post, following on from a previous one on Shakespeare and Beyond that introduced my ASECS-Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowship project, I’ll share some of the (still ongoing) findings of my research into North African diplomats, public performance, and newspaper advertising in London, 1681-1734. During this period, more than a dozen embassies from the Moroccan Empire and the Ottoman Regencies of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripolitania visited London and the surrounding regions.… Continue Reading

Europa into the Waves: John Dee and Meandering Research

a guest post by Dyani Taff Research feels nonlinear, like tracing a spiral, or a meandering river, or possibly like following ants’ pheromone trails, squiggly lines that crisscross each other and yet create a navigable chaos central to the ants’ communication. Sometime in 2017, I was reading Elizabeth Bellamy’s Dire Straits, and I learned that some scholars locate the earliest use of the phrase “British Empire” in a book by John Dee called General and Rare Memorials Pertayning to the Arte of Navigation, printed in 1577.… Continue Reading

The Meaning/s of Massacre

a guest post by Georgie Lucas Content Note: Massacres, Assassination, Graphic Images In August 1572 thousands of French Protestants—known as Huguenots—were slaughtered in a surprise attack by their Catholic compatriots in Paris. The Huguenots had descended on the French capital to celebrate the wedding of the Catholic Princess Marguerite of the royal house of Valois to the Protestant Prince Henri of Navarre.… Continue Reading