The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Facial Misrecognition

A guest post by Wan-Chuan Kao  Oliver Sacks, who brought to popular awareness many cognitive conditions that are simultaneously debilitating and fascinating—such as visual agnosia, of which face blindness is one type—observes that “our faces bear the stamp of our experiences and our character”; and “it is with our faces that we face the world, from the moment of birth to the moment of death.”… Continue Reading

Birds, Beasts, Maps, and Books: The Search for Richard Daniel, Esquire

A guest post by Danielle Skeehan Even before research libraries shut down in March 2020, digitization efforts had already changed how we access archives and how we can do research. From the comfort of my home, I can do a keyword search in Readex, EEBO, Shaw-Shoemaker, and other databases, and access thousands of results in seconds. But, of course, digital archives cannot replace the valuable feedback and support provided by archivists, library staff, your fellowship cohort, and often the fellow sitting next to you in the reading room.… Continue Reading

Postcards in the (Home) Archive: Folger Postcards, 1934

A guest post by Stephen Grant As I set out with “Folger Postcards 1934” to share my personal collection of Folger postcards in a systematic way with all you Collators, I have to pause. Why am I doing this? Yes, due to a) the building renovation, and b) COVID-19, I cannot access the Folger archives. But why has not someone else (until now) taken stock of all the picture postcards produced by or related to Folger—exterior, interior, artifacts—and the wealth of information one can gain from them?… Continue Reading

Play it again, Ham

As a Folger staff member, I am used to seeing Shakespeare’s face everywhere, but the image from this month’s Crocodile Mystery made even me do a double take. This month’s mystery was a stumper! The Hamlet behind Shakespeare/Yorick was Edwin “Eddie” Foy, a famous comic performer of the vaudeville era. Of all the roles available to a performer in Foy’s irreverent domain, it is curious that Hamlet is the one that haunts this jokester’s career.… Continue Reading

Pre-pandemic phone photo fails

As we hit the one year mark of special collections reading rooms closing around the world because of the pandemic, “primary source research” for many of us now consists of scrolling through our phones in search of photos of collection items from early 2020, the last time many of us set foot inside a reading room. While my daughters no longer complain, “Ugh, Mom, why do you have so many pictures of dumb manuscripts on your phone?,”… Continue Reading

Making rum in unexpected places

Note from the editors: we are testing a new image viewer in this post, and there are some bugs still to work out. If any of the images aren’t loading for you and you see a blank box instead, try clearing your browser’s history/cache and refreshing the page. A guest post by Jordan Smith For many US-based academics, late February/early March marks the one-year anniversary of our last taste of normalcy.… Continue Reading

Postcards in the (home) archive: Meriden Gravure Co. postally unused postcards with messages

A guest post by Stephen Grant Gentle readers, we are now somewhat familiar with Meriden Gravure Co. postcards. Perhaps we had never paid attention to them before. In this post we will look at five Meriden postcards which contain interesting information handwritten on them, but which do not bear a stamp, postmark, or destination. Left: “The Globe Theatre. From Visscher’s View of London, 1616”, Sepia.… Continue Reading

Postcards in the (home) archive: Brenda Putnam and Puck

a guest post by Stephen Grant This post, Dear Readers, is divided into three parts:  3 Kodak AZO postcards of Puck statue 3 Meriden Gravure Co. postcards of Puck statue 1 photograph of Brenda Putnam, Puck sculptor We start with 2 cards printed on Kodak AZO paper, similar to the ones of the 9 Gregory bas-reliefs you examined before.  Fig. 1, Left: Closeup of Puck Statue, Kodak AZO postcard Fig.… Continue Reading


Idols of the Reformation

Thank you to all who weighed in on this month’s Crocodile Mystery! Many people recognize October 31, 1517 as a major milestone in the beginning of the Protestant Reformation—the date that it is said Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg. To mark that occasion, I thought it would be fitting to have a Reformation-themed Crocodile post!… Continue Reading