The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Abbreviations and signatures

As Sjoerd Levelt guessed in the comments, this month’s crocodile image featured an abbreviation, rather than a letter, in the signature mark: Here’s a longer look at what this character is and how it ended up being used in the signature. First, the book in question is a “Book of Summer Sermons” (Santius de Porta, Sermones estiuales de tempore venerabilis Santij porta sacri ordinis predicatorum) printed in Lyon in 1513. … Continue Reading


A peek into the Conservation Lab

Ever wonder what the conservators are up to on our third floor? Here’s a peek into what’s happening in the Werner Gundersheimer Conservation Laboratory this month: The team is in full treatment mode for the Library’s upcoming exhibition, “Symbols of Honor: Heraldry and Family History in Shakespeare’s England,” opening this summer. Before every exhibition, of course, the conservation team reviews the items to be displayed to do any necessary work to repair or stabilize them.… Continue Reading

Continuing the celebration: Preserving birthday-related digital ephemera

It’s official: the Bard doesn’t look a day over 425. 450 years have now passed since William Shakespeare’s birth and it’s clear he is just as relevant and as loved as ever before. April 23, 2014 was marked with celebrations, events, and jovial birthday wishes from modern-day readers, scholars, and enthusiasts worldwide. William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and birthday celebrations during his time were likely to be much different than the festivities of today; many of which are now documented or take place online through web articles, social media conversations, and digital interaction.… Continue Reading

Cataloging questions: How should we display variant titles?

Do you use Hamnet, the Folger’s online catalog? Do you want to help make it better? Of course you do! This is the first in what I hope will be an ongoing series of conversations designed to keep me from playing around with the display settings in whatever way strikes my fancy just because I happen to know the master password.… Continue Reading

Buzz or honey? Shakespeare’s Beehive raises questions

Shakespeare’s birthday week begins with a bang: two New York booksellers, George Koppelman and Daniel Wechsler, announced that they have found Shakespeare’s dictionary. In their new book, Shakespeare’s Beehive, Koppelman and Wechsler present their reasons for believing that William Shakespeare is the annotator of their copy of John Baret’s Alvearie, a 1580 dictionary that scholars have linked to Shakespeare’s plays and poems.… Continue Reading