The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Three chords and the truth

There are moments when a song is the best way to convey an emotional message. Even though songs are mostly public things, they still can feel intensely personal. Popular songs in early modern England were sung in ballad form. At the intersection of oral, print, visual, and dance cultures, ballads had a wide appeal across class and rural/urban divides. Their broad appeal and presence in everyday life, combined with emotionally profound subjects made ballads the perfect accent to scenes in Shakespeare’s plays onstage.… Continue Reading

Extra-Illustrating Othello

a guest post by Patricia Akhimie On my last visit to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Fall 2019 (a time that seems all too distant now) to conduct research for a new edition of Othello, I set myself the goal of viewing every image and object related to the play in the Folger’s collection. This was an experience that often rocketed between emotional highs and lows because the Folger’s vast collection includes both art objects that delight and those that disturb.… Continue Reading

Romeo and…

Thanks for our many eagle-eyed readers and your attention to this month’s Crocodile Post. As several folks guessed, this is a French parody of Romeo and Juliet called Roméo et Paquette, published in 1773. This item is a new acquisition, purchased in 2019 from our colleagues at Antiquariat Inlibris in Vienna. As incredible as it may seem, the first translations of Shakespeare’s plays only began to appear in France in the eighteenth century.… Continue Reading


Should we care where Lucy Hutchinson went to church?

A guest post by Crawford Gribben Over the last few years—and with the benefit of my summer Folger fellowship—I’ve been thinking about the network of friends and rivals that had at its centre the puritan theologian, John Owen (1616-83). Owen was one of the most productive writers of the seventeenth century, and the Folger holds one of the largest collections of his work.… Continue Reading

Postcards in the (home) archive: Folger postcards, 1937

A guest post by Stephen Grant Printed on picture side: FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D.C. 60063 Printed on address side: PUB. BY THE WASHINGTON NEWS COMPANY, WASHINGTON, D.C. FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY. Folger Shakespeare Library. East Capitol and 2nd Streets. This important addition to the cultural wealth of the nation was the gift of the late Henry C. Folger. The Collection includes more than 70,000 volumes, as well as pictures and other relics of the great poet’s life and work.… Continue Reading