The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Categorized: Crocodile-mystery



Drawing for photographic reproduction

This month’s crocodile mystery asked what’s going on with the odd-looking painting technique in an original work of art, shown in a detail. Here’s a view of the whole thing:… Continue Reading




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

Happy Boxing Day! We’ve brought you another crocodile mystery to open with your holiday goodies. This month’s mystery comes in two forms and appears in two places. Tell us, if you would, what these mysterious numbers suggest to you?     As usual, leave your thoughts and guesses in the comments below and we’ll be back in the new year with an answer.… Continue Reading


Time writing

Telescopium Uranicum, 1666. Folger 269- 460q item 5 Chronograms—literally, “time writing”—are dates embedded within text. As such, they are a form of hidden writing called steganography: the encoded characters maintain their own value, but are hidden within a larger text. Easily calculable to those who know what they’re looking for, they still excite the thrill of uncovering secret meaning. That thrill was experienced by this cataloger when, for the first time ever, she came across a chronogram that had been previously unremarked.… Continue Reading


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