The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

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

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

A briefing on brevigraphs, those strange shapes in early printed texts

Most people reading this will know that “&” and “and” mean the same thing. Some will also know that the ampersand’s “&” shape originated from the handwritten word “et” (Latin for “and”). The  “e” and the “t” are combined into a single character, making “&” the best-known example of a brevigraph. Instead of writing out “et cetera” you can simply write “&c.”… Continue Reading

Unsung Travelers: a history of global mobility from below

A guest post by Ananya Chakravarti In March 2017, not long after President Trump stormed into office on a platform decrying “globalists,” the historian Jeremy Adelman published an essay asking whether “the short ride” of global history had come to a bumpy end. Lynn Hunt’s 2014 prognostication that global historians would help remake the world in their cosmopolitan image of the past, much as national historians had molded nations, seemed suddenly premature.… Continue Reading

Paper Trades

Thank you for your insightful comments on our Crocodile Mystery, which I enjoyed reading as usual. My heartfelt thanks also to Andrew Hare, Supervisory East Asian Painting Conservator, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, for identifying the various papers and prints in the book; and to my Folger colleague Wenqi Han for locating a copy of the book Wan shou sheng dian chu ji: yi bai er shi juan.Continue Reading