The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts By: The Collation

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: December 2022

According to the fine print, The Collation‘s monthly Crocodile Mystery is a “series on identifying objects in our collection” so this mystery object sneaks in on a technicality. It is not part of the Folger collection, but it is in the collection’s physical space. What is it called, and what is it for? Let us know what you think in the Comments.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: November 2022

This month crocodile mystery comes from John Ward’s diary, V.a. 291, volume 8, leaf 18v.   Can you decipher the highlighted text especially the first and last words of the sentence? Leave your attempts in the comments below and we’ll be back next week with the answer, and why we were thrilled to see it. (And if you’re among the group of people who have been transcribing John Ward for a while, maybe hold off on your guesses for a few days?)… Continue Reading


Folger manuscripts out and about: a field trip to Penn!

During the Folger’s building renovation, we have been fortunate to be able to send a selection of twenty-nine pre-modern manuscripts up to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries’ Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts in Philadelphia. This exciting partnership allows for these rare items, produced in England and in continental Europe between the 13th and 16th centuries, to remain available to researchers during our extended period of closure.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: September 2022

What manner o’ thing is this? Useless hint: like Antony’s eponymous crocodile, “It is shaped… like itself, and it is as broad as it hath breadth.” It does not, however, move “with it own organs.” Have a guess? Leave a comment and we’ll be back next week with more info.… Continue Reading

Q & A: David McKenzie, Head of Exhibitions

Please join us in welcoming David McKenzie to the Folger as the Head of Exhibitions. In this role, David will oversee the creation of a new Exhibitions department which will focus on re-envisioning the scope, content, and implementation of a dynamic, community-focused program of materials display and interpretation in 6,000 ft² of brand new exhibition space. He comes to us from Ford’s Theatre Society, where his most recent position was Associate Director for History.… Continue Reading


“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: July 2022

Whose fingerprint is it? Is it a reader’s, printer’s, or binder’s fingerprint? I’ve been asking myself this question since I saw this trace in a Reformation pamphlet . It is placed in the gutter of the page and it is of a dark brown color ink (rather than black). Any thoughts on this are welcomed.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: June 2022

Welcome to our June Crocodile Mystery! (Confused as to why it’s a “crocodile” mystery? Learn how it got that name.) Special collections libraries are full of strange and mysterious acronyms, abbreviations, and codes. For this month’s mystery, tell us, if you will, what this alpha-numeric assortment is, and what it’s doing in our collection. As always, leave your thoughts and guesses in the comments and we’ll be back next week with more info.… Continue Reading

Invitation to preview our new catalog

Psssst…. we’re working on a new online catalog for the Folger collection. Do you want to help out by having an early look? If so, please keep reading! The link is deliberately buried deep in this blog post because there’s some context we want you to have, and some important warnings about the parts that we’re still working on.… Continue Reading