The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Categorized: Crocodile-mystery

The key to removing a card catalog rod (literally)

Thanks for all the great guesses at the identity of the December Crocodile! In fact, the mystery object is a tool for removing the rod from a particular type of card catalog drawer (see Folgerpedia‘s Card catalogs article for information about our card catalogs and how to use them). Ironically, Richard M. Waugaman’s tongue-in-cheek proposal that it’s a worn-out corkscrew comes closest to the actual function: this type of card catalog rod is removed by jamming the tool onto the end of the rod and pulling, just like you’d pull a cork from a bottle.… Continue Reading


De Acupunctura: Willem ten Rhijne and Bringing Eastern Medicine to Europe

I am continually in awe of the depth and breadth of knowledge that our readers possess. Y’all are truly excellent. Yes, the answer to the Crocodile Mystery is, as several people answered, a chart of the acupuncture points on the head. Here is a slightly wider shot of this part of the diagram: And here is the diagram in full, showing the points on the back side of the body: This diagram, along with several others, appears in a book written by the Dutch physician Willem ten Rhijne, published in London in 1683 (but more on that in a moment).… Continue Reading

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: November 2018

As October draws to a close, we bring you a new Crocodile Mystery. (If you’re new around these parts and totally confused as to why we refer to our monthly mystery post as a “Crocodile”, this post will explain it.) For this month’s mystery, we ask that you look at the image below and let us know what it is depicting.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: October 2018

For this month’s mystery, we’d like your thoughts on this image: what’s going on here with the design appearing in different spots on these two books? What is it, what does it mean, why might it appear here? Share your thoughts in the comments section!    … Continue Reading


“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: August 2018

This month’s Crocodile Mystery is about an inventory of typefaces found in a printshop. Can anyone guess in what type of printing business they would have been used? As always, leave your guesses and thoughts in the comments below, and we’ll be back next week with the answer.… Continue Reading