The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

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

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: April 2021

Never smile at a crocodile…mystery, that is. Especially when Shakespeare looks this shocked. Which 20th century performer is holding Shakespeare’s terrified, Yorick-ified head? If you’re not too scared, leave your guesses in the comments below and come back next week for the answer!… Continue Reading

Documenting mistakes in our documentation

If someone points out a typo in an online Finding Aid or a Hamnet catalog record, we gratefully say thank-you, fix it, and (usually) move on. Sometimes, though, a big enough mistake has been around for a long enough time that we can’t just move on. We have to take extra steps to find the source of the mistake, and make sure its ghost doesn’t come back to haunt scholarship.… 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