The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Categorized: Digital-resources

The Folger G.K. Hall Catalogs, or How to fit an entire card catalog on your bookshelf

I had the good fortune of learning to do scholarly research during the transition from card catalogs to Online Public Access Catalogs or ‘OPAC’s, as they are known in libraries. I have a particular fondness for card catalogs because they allow for precision and recall when searching. Keyword searches can retrieve an interesting scattershot set of results, but when someone stands in front of a card catalog and looks for a particular name, title, or subject, they can see exactly how many cards are in the catalog with the search term.… Continue Reading

An Experiment in Following a Worm Through a Folded Letter

A guest post by William Davis Folger staff have long been interested in folding early modern letters for mailing. It comes up periodically when someone finds a letter with unusual folds. Both Heather Wolfe and Erin Blake have written Collation posts about discovering how certain types of folds were done and why. However, a digital surrogate is not usually a source that leaps to mind as a tool when confronted with folding questions.… Continue Reading

Introducing the Folger Reference Image Collection

Sometimes when people contact the Folger to ask questions about items in our collections, the easiest way to provide an answer is to take a quick photo of a particular detail. This has resulted in a growing collection of smartphone images of collections materials. We are now making them available in the Folger Reference Image Collection. These images are shared under the CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication License (CC0 1.0), so anyone can copy, modify, distribute, and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. … Continue Reading

Strange New World: Folger Resources for Online Learning and Teaching

I think Miranda will forgive the paraphrase when we say it’s a strange new world out there right now. For many of us, our lives have been turned upside down in the last week (has it really only been a week?), and we suddenly find ourselves needing to rapidly figure out how to work, teach, and study in a remote/virtual environment.  … Continue Reading

Printed Elizabethan poetry now included in Union First Line Index

As of September 2019, researchers have 35,261 more reasons to use the Union First Line Index of English Verse, hosted by the Folger Shakespeare Library. The database now contains all first lines, not just manuscript first lines, from Elizabethan poetry: a bibliography and first-line index of English verse, 1559-1603, by Steven W. May and William A. Ringler, Jr., the three-volume landmark published in 2004 (London and New York: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004).… Continue Reading

British Book Illustrations

Good news, picture-seekers! If you’ve ever tried to search Luna for a picture of something specific, you’ve probably noticed that relatively few digital images match one-to-one with their source descriptions. For example, although a keyword search for “dog” will bring up depictions of dogs in single items from the art collection (like this one who seems to making good an escape, and this one who has stopped to smell the flowers), it will also bring up all 140 images of a manuscript that’s described as including recipes “for the bite of a mad dog.”… Continue Reading

Mapping Shakespeare’s plays: an experiment

A guest post by Charles Webb Friends, Romans, Countrymen: lend me your eyes For the past eight months I have split my time between working at the Folger Shakespeare Library and at Dumbarton Oaks as a Dumbarton Oaks Humanities Fellow. I am fortunate to work as a part of the Digital Media and Publications team here at the Folger, where I have had the opportunity to define my own digital project this year.… Continue Reading

And that’s IIIF to you, too

Our Crocodile mystery last week showed some crocodile tears, but the exciting part is just below our sad reptile. This illustrated Italian ducal motto is from Symbola divina & Humana pontificum, imperatorum, regum, by Jacob Typot (Frankfurt, 1652)—and you can get up close to the image in the new Miranda platform. Those who study early modern materials—images, books, and manuscripts—often want to get a closer look at our digital images.… Continue Reading

Coding Elizabeth’s Court: A Digital Experiment

With Danielle Rosvally The Dataset Gathered by Marion E. Colthorpe, The Elizabethan Court Day by Day (ECDbD) is a record of the people, places, and events of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Colthorpe consulted state papers, diaries, government records, and other primary source documents to bring together details about what happened on each day of Elizabeth’s reign. The events of ECDbD depict the movers and shakers of Elizabethan England at play and at work.… Continue Reading

Experiments with early modern manuscripts and computer-aided transcription

Guest post by Minyue Dai, Carrie Yang, Reeve Ingle, and Meaghan J. Brown. Hundreds of years ago, scholars might spend hours in a library searching through thousands of pages to find a useful paragraph.Things get much easier when we can work with digitized text. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems can automatically recognize text on images—such as printed books, handwritten letters, and photos—and convert it to a readable and editable digital format.… Continue Reading