The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts By: Goran Proot

Winning the lottery

On Saturday 4 November 1617, the archdukes of the Southern Netherlands, Albert and Isabella, granted permission to the “gentil homme Lucquois” Matthias Micheli to organize a lottery for the foundation of the “Bergen van Barmhartigheid” or “Monts de piété.” First invented in Italy in the 15th century, the Monts were public pawnbroking institutes where people could give goods as collateral to borrow money at relatively cheap interest rates.… Continue Reading

Second Thoughts on Second Editions. The Dutch Fingerprint (Part II)

In my previous Collation post I explained what a bibliographic fingerprint is and how it works. The examples I will discuss in this post will demonstrate how useful the fingerprint is to compare copies remotely and to identify title editions and variants within editions. Some of these discoveries may shed more light on (bad) habits in book production and the marketing of books in the early modern period.… Continue Reading

Detective Work: The Dutch Fingerprint (Part I)

Previous Collation posts may convince even the most skeptical reader that bibliographic work often requires detective work. In some cases, this may involve bibliographers to take fingerprints. Fingerprints are regularly used by bibliographers to find out whether or not two copies are printed from the same setting of type. Roughly speaking, identical settings in two copies mean that the copies originate in the same print run and may be part of the same edition.… Continue Reading

A treasure chest 6.75 meters long

It is not a secret that in most libraries—and I am tempted to write “in all libraries”—treasures are slumbering and waiting for their discovery. This sort of thing may happen when you least expect it, for instance when you call for a book and it turns out to be a completely different one than the one you think you asked for.… Continue Reading