The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts By: Guest Author

A Glimpse into the Cultural History of Fragaria

a guest post by Jennie Youssef When the term of my Folger fellowship began, I had made some headway in my research for a dissertation chapter on the foodway of strawberries. The strawberry’s symbolic significance in medieval art and early modern literary and dramatic texts has been extensively analyzed. To cite well-known dramatic examples from Shakespeare’s England—in Othello (first staged in 1604), Desdemona’s handkerchief, embroidered with strawberries, serves as a nod to the popularity of a domestic pastime and has also been read as symbolic of her virginity.… Continue Reading

The mystery of Humphrey Walcot’s grocery bill and early-modern popular numeracy

a guest post by Ray Schrire It is time for an unofficial Crocodile Mystery. Humphrey Walcot’s grocery bill. Folger, L.f.196 These are a few of my favorite items from the merchant Humphrey Walcot’s shopping list of May 8, 1601 (a bill I picked up semi-randomly from the Folger’s digital image collection): One pound and a quarter cherries 3 shillings 4 pence 2 pounds three quarters damsons 7 shillings 4 pence One pound and a half gooseberries 4 shillings One pound barberies 2 shillings 8 pence 2 pounds and a quarter pear plums 6 shillings 4 pounds paste of plums 16 shillings 4 pounds candied spices 24 shillings 5 pounds and a half marmalade [yummy!]… Continue Reading

Postcards in the (home) archive: 1938

a guest post by Stephen Grant Printed on picture side: FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D. C. 60063 Printed on address side: THE WASHINGTON NEWS COMPANY FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY. East Capitol and 2nd Streets. This important addition to the cultural wealth of the nation was the gift of the late Henry C. Folger. The collection includes more than 70,000 volumes, as well as pictures and other relics of the great poet’s life and work.… Continue Reading

Camaraderie, congeniality, and collaboration: paleography at the Folger

a guest post by Morgan McMinn Research libraries and archives are often thought of in terms of their physical existence but those misconceptions were challenged by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. The Folger Shakespeare Library is more than the physical space it inhabits and the researchers working within it. The library is also a digital space available to scholars and enthusiasts of early modern texts, which is an environment open for collaboration.… Continue Reading

Picturing Children’s Food in Early Modern Europe

a guest post by Carla Cevasco While I started my Folger fellowship intending to research children’s foodways in the manuscript recipe book collection, I was surprised by how many hungry, eating, or even eaten children could be found in the Folger’s collections of visual culture. (A big shoutout to Rachel Dankert for pointing out the prevalence of children throughout these collections!)… Continue Reading

Extra-Illustrating Othello

a guest post by Patricia Akhimie On my last visit to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Fall 2019 (a time that seems all too distant now) to conduct research for a new edition of Othello, I set myself the goal of viewing every image and object related to the play in the Folger’s collection. This was an experience that often rocketed between emotional highs and lows because the Folger’s vast collection includes both art objects that delight and those that disturb.… Continue Reading

Should we care where Lucy Hutchinson went to church?

A guest post by Crawford Gribben Over the last few years—and with the benefit of my summer Folger fellowship—I’ve been thinking about the network of friends and rivals that had at its centre the puritan theologian, John Owen (1616-83). Owen was one of the most productive writers of the seventeenth century, and the Folger holds one of the largest collections of his work.… Continue Reading

Postcards in the (home) archive: Folger postcards, 1937

A guest post by Stephen Grant Printed on picture side: FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D.C. 60063 Printed on address side: PUB. BY THE WASHINGTON NEWS COMPANY, WASHINGTON, D.C. FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY. Folger Shakespeare Library. East Capitol and 2nd Streets. This important addition to the cultural wealth of the nation was the gift of the late Henry C. Folger. The Collection includes more than 70,000 volumes, as well as pictures and other relics of the great poet’s life and work.… Continue Reading

Unsung Travelers: a history of global mobility from below

A guest post by Ananya Chakravarti In March 2017, not long after President Trump stormed into office on a platform decrying “globalists,” the historian Jeremy Adelman published an essay asking whether “the short ride” of global history had come to a bumpy end. Lynn Hunt’s 2014 prognostication that global historians would help remake the world in their cosmopolitan image of the past, much as national historians had molded nations, seemed suddenly premature.… Continue Reading

The Production of Whiteness in the Anglo-French Match (1625)

A guest post by Mira Assaf Kafantaris Meghan Markle’s incorporation into the British monarchy, and her subsequent departure from it, has thrown into high relief the ideologies of whiteness at the heart of royal European traditions. Even though the symbolism of her nuptials with Prince Harry was touted as the United Kingdom’s ultimate act of reconciliation with its brutal colonial past, Markle’s inclusion in the beau monde of white Britain remained conditional.… Continue Reading