The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

“Extravagantly Large Paper”

While working on the exhibition “Age of Lawyers” (currently on view at the Folger Shakespeare Library), I came upon several interesting copies of Thomas Littleton’s Tenures, the first textbook written on English land law. There are five different copies of Littleton’s book printed in London 1588 and 1591 by Richard Totell. The text in all of them lies in the inner top quadrant of each page, creating unusually wide margins on each side and below the text.… Continue Reading

Doodles and Dragons

A guest post by Gail McMurray Gibson, William R. Kenan Professor Emerita of English and Humanities, Davidson College. When the Macro Plays manuscript pages recently came out of the Folger vault for a day of conversation with scholars, curators, and the conservation team, I got a good look at some doodles. Unlike the careful drawing on the final folio of the Macro play of The Castle of Perseverance, famously heralded as the earliest extant English stage design, the crude sketches on the first and last paper pages of the late-medieval masque-like play Wisdom haven’t received much attention.… Continue Reading

Welcome to The Collation’s new look

The Folger’s blog renovations are done! The Collation now has a new look and a new tag line, but the same enthusiastic commitment to research and exploration at the Folger (which is now spelled out as such in the tag line). It’s not hugely different from what we had before: the colors are still red, white, and black; the title banner still stretches across the top;  and the books on our shelf haven’t changed (though the image has been cropped differently).… Continue Reading

Please pardon the dust

It is nearly the end of another month, so we’re sure most of you are expecting another intriguing Crocodile Mystery. However, this month we are going to be taking a very brief hiatus while we do some fall cleaning, and implement some updates on both the front and back end of this blog! But never fear, we expect to be back with our regularly scheduled posts sometime next week.… Continue Reading

What to do about the Macro manuscripts?

We thought we had the right question. Renate Mesmer (Head of Conservation), Heather Wolfe (Curator of Manuscripts), and I invited several scholars to the Folger for a lab-based discussion on “V.a.354: What to do about the Macro Manuscripts?” Specifically, the question was whether to rebind the items, and if so, together or separately, and if together, in what order. Some history will be helpful here: three late-medieval morality plays, Wisdom, Mankind, and The Castle of Perseverance, known collectively as the Macro manuscripts, are in the Folger collection.… Continue Reading

Fall Round-up for Early Modern Manuscripts Online

Over the past few months, EMMO has been busy with several first-ever activities connected to transcribing manuscripts at the Folger. In August, we transcribed excerpts from over twenty four manuscripts currently exhibited in the Age of Lawyers Exhibition (running until January 3rd 2016). These documents cover such fascinating topics as Customs of copyholders, Treatises on English law, By-laws of Warwick, a List of Jurors, and a List of Charges in legal Latin!… Continue Reading