The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts By: Sarah Werner

A look back at our 2013

Here on The Collation, it’s been a busy 2013. Today’s post will be our 68th of the year, and as of December 15th, we’d racked up 46,012 visits from 33,411 unique visitors, producing 67,361 pageviews this year. *phew* It’s gratifying that we have readers who enjoy our posts and that come to us repeatedly to learn what we have to share.… Continue Reading

‘Tis the season for almanacs

As our two commenters on the last post sussed out, this month’s crocodile mystery is a detail from an almanac, the black “Swallow” overprinting the red “Dove” the names of authors of two different almanacs. Below is the full title page of the work in question, Swallow 1633. An Almanack for the yeare since the nativity of our Saviour MDCXXXIII Being the first after Bissextile or Leap-yeare, and from our Saviour’s passion 1600.Continue Reading

A practical look at the Practical Science of Printing

In 1723, a Frenchman named Martin-Dominque Fertel published a book on printing, La science pratique de l’imprimerie. It’s good to look at early printing manuals, especially when one is trying to understand how early printing works, so I was delighted to learn that the Folger acquired a copy of the book from the Veatchs in September 2012. When I called the book up from the vaults, I saw that it was housed in a specially-made case: But why was the book in a box? … Continue Reading

Bridging past and present

As I hope Collation readers know by now, the Folger is committed to openly accessible resources. Last week provided one example of the exciting results from such a scholarly pooling of knowledge. The story begins with a conference held at the Library on bindings, the culmination of a two-year project creating an online database of images of bindings at the Folger.… Continue Reading

Is that bleed-through?

In some ways, this image is a perfectly ordinary one (well, ordinary if it’s possible to think of an autograph manuscript of Mary Wroth’s important sonnet sequence Pamphilia to Amphilanthus [Folger V.a.104] as ordinary): Heather Wolfe was showing this image to the participants of the Folger Institute’s recent summer NEH institute, Early Modern Digital Agendas, as part of a transcription exercise.… Continue Reading

Sizing books up

A couple of weeks back I posted some images with the aim of destabilizing some of our assumptions about what early modern texts look like. In the mix was an image of a “big” book followed by a “tiny” one. It was, I think, obvious even on the computer screen that the big book was big and the tiny one was tiny.… Continue Reading

It’s the details thnt matter

There were two odd things happening in last week’s crocodile mystery, which featured an opening from the first English edition of Nicolàs Monardes’s Joyfull newes out of the newe founde worlde (STC 18005). The first was the easier to spot, assuming you paid attention to the information at the top of the page that we don’t usually pay attention to. In the headline (that bit of text that runs across the top of a page usually identifying the book or section of the book being read), there was a “thnt” instead of “that” on the left-hand side of the opening.… Continue Reading

Noticing the weirdness of texts

Sometimes it’s fun just to look at books without worrying what they are and who printed them and what the text says. And sometimes, when you do that, you notice all sorts of ways in which they’re weird—they mix manuscript and print together, they play with layout and movement, they come in different shapes and sizes, we find them in unexpected places.… Continue Reading

Annotating and collaborating

This month’s crocodile mystery was, as Andrew Keener quickly identified, an image from Gabriel Harvey’s copy of Lodovico Domenichi’s Facetie and (Folger H.a.2): There is a lot that could be said about Gabriel Harvey and his habits of reading.  He was a scholar, a writer, and a prolific reader who heavily annotated his books, about 200 of which survive (the Folger holds seven of his annotated books).… Continue Reading

Looking like a book

Last month I wrote about a book—nay, a leaf of a book—and the secret histories it reveals about how it was made, from the growth of the tree that became the woodblock to the valleys and hills that formed during the making and printing of the paper. I promised then that I’d write another post that took us into the afterlife of that book, the ways in which the future imprinted itself on it.… Continue Reading