The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Storming Shakespeare: creating an artists’ book

A guest post by Jan Kellett Editor’s note: When the Folger acquired the lovely artist’s book Storming Shakespeare from Jan Kellett last year, Erin Blake asked if she would be willing to share some information with our readers about the making of the book. The post that follows is Kellett’s account of the inspiration and physical process of creating Storming ShakespeareContinue Reading

Hard hands and strange words

Until you get the hang of it, Henry Oxinden’s secretary hand is just plain difficult. Take a stab at this passage from p. 469 of his Miscellany (ca. 1642-1670), Folger MS V.b.110, extracted from a sermon delivered by Charles Herle at Winwick, Lancashire, in 1654. It is typical of the entire manuscript. What does it say? Our crack team of advanced paleographers transcribed Oxinden’s messy and abbreviated secretary hand as follows: Certainly if there bee any thing glorious in the world it is a minde that contemnes that glory.… Continue Reading

A transcriba… what?

The typical first awkwardly formed question is, “A transcriba…what, wait, what is it, again?” (Answer: “Transcribathon, an event running from noon to midnight in which we transcribe and encode manuscripts, the very first experimental event of its kind for Early Modern Manuscripts Online.”) The next question following fast on its heels is usually, “Why would anyone want to do that for twelve hours?” Well, over 35 transcribers, many of whom had never tried their hands or eyes at early modern paleography before, could tell you: because it’s fun!… Continue Reading

Mezzotint!

Simran Thadani’s wild guess for the December Crocodile Mystery, backed up by Martin Antonetti and Deborah J. Leslie, is our winner. This month’s image is a close-up of the lower right edge of a mezzotint engraving. The lines that look like warp and weft are, in fact, rows of tiny black dots crossing each other at right angles. This happens to be a fairly coarse mezzotint, with the grain easily visible to the naked eye.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: December 2014

Another new month, another new crocodile mystery! What manner of thing is this? Please leave wild guesses, informed opinions, witty remarks, and so on, in the Comments section. All will be revealed later this week (or sooner, depending on how the Comments go). UPDATE December 9: All is revealed in “Mezzotint!“… Continue Reading

How the “Mastiffs” reached the Folger

In June 1878, the novelist Anthony Trollope and a dozen of his friends boarded the yacht “Mastiff” in Scotland for its maiden voyage, a trip to Iceland. They stayed just over a week, but the episode provided Trollope with enough material for a book, How the ‘Mastiffs’ Went to Iceland. It was published barely two months later by Virtue & Co.… Continue Reading