The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Decoding Early Modern Gossip

A guest post by Alicia Petersen What comes to mind when you think of a coded letter? Political intrigue? Espionage? As the Folger Shakespeare Library’s 2014-5 exhibition Decoding the Renaissance: 500 Years of Codes and Ciphers highlighted, these guesses are pretty accurate. Particularly in the tense political climate surrounding the English Civil Wars (1642-1651), coded letters abounded in connection to plots and conspiracies.… Continue Reading

Expurgation with decoration: type ornaments as replacement text

Thanks for the great comments on last week’s Crocodile Mystery. Everyone scores ten points, with full marks going to the two commenters who correctly identified the publication. It is, in fact, a block of nonsense that replaces an expurgated paragraph of text. I wish I could show you the whole page of the Folger copy, but unfortunately, the visual note-to-self shown here is all I’ve got until the Folger re-opens after major renovations.… Continue Reading

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

This month’s Crocodile Mystery comes from a 17th-century publication: What’s going on in this photo? Please speculate, elucidate, and/or procrastinate in the “Comments” section. Also, in case you, like I, had misremembered the source of the catchphrase we use for our monthly WTF (“What-the-Folger”) post, “What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?” is a line from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, scene 7.… Continue Reading

New Acquisition: Photographs of an early 20th-century production of Hamlet in Japan

Welcome to a new regular series here on The Collation! Curatorial staff will be writing short pieces focusing on new acquisitions, hopefully giving our readers a glimpse into how we’re building our collections. Today, I’m excited to share a small set of photographs documenting a production of Hamlet that was performed in Japan in 1933. We acquired these photographs from Rose Counsell at Hozuki Books, whose apt description provides the basis for this short post.… Continue Reading

Folger-Penn Press interview and excerpt: Megan Heffernan, Making the Miscellany

In 2015, The Folger Shakespeare Library and the University of Pennsylvania Press established a cooperative agreement to publish volumes emerging from work substantially shaped by engagement with the Folger collections, often under the aegis of Folger Institute funding. Authors published under the agreement address topics and methodological approaches as broad as those of the collections and research activities of the Folger itself.… Continue Reading

Postcards in the (home) archive: Folger postcards, 1935

A guest post by Stephen Grant Editor’s Note: Stephen’s previous post covers postcards of the Folger from 1934. Printed on picture side: Statue of Puck Folger Shakespeare Library Printed on address side: FIGURE OF PUCK, BY BRENDA PUTNAM   FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D.C. ©RIDEOUT STUDIO    POST CARD    CORRESPONDENCE Written message: “Perhaps with a magnifying glass you can read what Puck is saying.Continue Reading