The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Purchases from the Robert S. Pirie Collection, Part 2: the printed material

The Folger Shakespeare Library acquired 45 lots, 19 of them printed books, at the auction sale of the Pirie collection that took place on December 2–4, 2015, at Sotheby’s, New York (we’ve also put up the complete list of our acquisitions from this sale). As we described in our previous post about the sale, a great deal of preparation went into this auction, and part of that involved comparing our current holdings with the items offered in the sale.… Continue Reading

Purchases from the Robert S. Pirie Collection, Part I

The latter portion of 2015 included a bit more excitement than usual around the Folger, as we gathered for several days in early December to feast (on popcorn, primarily), drink (coffee and tea), and engage in that most merciless of blood sports: buying at auction. This occasion for festivity was Sotheby’s December 2015 sale of the magnificent collection of printed books and manuscripts belonging to Robert S.… Continue Reading

Photo-manual illustration

As Jeff and Anthony commented on last week’s Crocodile Mystery, this picture is unusual because it is an engraved portrait copied from a photograph rather than from a drawing or painting. Specifically, it is a steel engraving by George Hollis (1793–1842) based on a daguerreotype by J.E. Mayall (1813–1901), and it depicts Madame [Céline] Celeste (1814–1882) as Princess Katherine in Shakespeare’s Henry V: A comparison of the daguerreotype-based steel engraving with a drawing-based copper engraving of Mrs.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: January 2016

This month’s mystery raises the question of illustration technique, taking a portrait of Céline Celeste as Katherine in Shakespeare’s Henry V as an example. What makes this picture unusual, technically speaking? Please share your thoughts, guesses, New Year’s greetings, etc.,  using the “Leave a reply” box at the end of this post. Check back next week for the full story.… Continue Reading

Shakespeare Documented, coming soon

It is almost 2016! For the Folger Shakespeare Library, that means we are about to kick off The Wonder of Will, 400 Years of Shakespeare, and one of the first initiatives we have planned as part of our year-long commemoration is Shakespeare Documented. When it launches in mid-January, it will be the largest and most authoritative resource for learning about primary sources that document the life and career of William Shakespeare.… Continue Reading

EMMO announces the launch of Shakespeare’s World

There are thousands of manuscripts sitting quietly amongst the Folger’s ever-growing collection which Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) aims to transcribe. Earlier this year EMMO collaborated with Zooniverse, a hugely successful online crowd-sourcing platform, so that people all over the world could join us in this transcription project. We are delighted to announce that the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has since jumped aboard this digital enterprise as well, and on December 10th Shakespeare’s World officially launched!… Continue Reading