The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts By: The Collation

Happy New Year (by one calendar anyway)

We’re well aware that around the world, and across time, there are many calendars (boy howdy do we know that), but if the calendar that you use is about to change over to January 1, 2020, we wish you a wonderful and happy new year! We’ll be back next week with our regularly scheduled content!… Continue Reading

December Greetings

As we pass the winter solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the days grow longer at last (apologies to our readers in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s all down hill for you), we wanted to take a moment and wish all of our readers a safe and peaceful winter holiday season. As many of you know, there are some exciting changes coming to the Folger in 2020 and beyond (learn more about our planned construction), but rest assured that The Collation will still be here with our regular(ish) posting schedule.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: December 2019

Welcome to the final Crocodile Mystery of 2019! As we close out the year (and the decade!), we invite you to look at the image below and tell us, if you can, what on earth it’s talking about?! Leave your thoughts and guesses in the comments below, and we’ll be back next week with an explanation.… Continue Reading




Summer Retrospective: Deciphering Signature Marks

It seems appropriate to finish up our summer retrospective series with one of the earliest (and perennially most popular) posts. Whether it’s a back-to-basics refresher for you or an answer to the question you’ve been asking yourself, Deciphering Signature Marks is a must-read for all of our followers. We hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into some of our previous posts. There is so much great content on this blog, the results of hundreds of hours of research and writing by our staff and guest authors, and we hope you’ll keep exploring it on your own, as well as enjoying the new content we continue to post.… Continue Reading

Summer Retrospective: Uncut, unopened, untrimmed, uh-oh

It seems fitting that with last week’s retrospective post being all about paper, this week we should turn to the age-old question: just what do you call it when a book still has pages joined together (aside from “difficult to read”)? Learn the answer in Uncut, unopened, untrimmed, uh-oh.… Continue Reading

Summer Retrospective: All About Paper

One of the most important physical aspects of our collection is the very paper on which the books, manuscripts, and drawings were created. Unsurprisingly, we’ve had quite a few posts on this topic! This week, we invite you to take a look at some of them: Learning to “Read” Old Paper—what’s the difference between laid and woven paper anyway? Find out!… Continue Reading

Summer Retrospective: Early modern eyebrow interpretation

Eyebrow shaping has been a thing for a long time. Including in the early modern period. Another one of our favorite posts from the past comes from the time when Heather Wolfe found a whole section on eyebrows in one of our manuscripts. Curious to learn more? Read all about it in Early modern eyebrow interpretation, or what it means to have a unibrow… Continue Reading