The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Heirloom apples and pears, anyone?

We’ll begin with another crocodile-style challenge in this post, from a manuscript miscellany compiled by Henry Oxinden (or Oxenden) (1609-1670) of Barham, Kent, Folger MS V.b.110. Here’s a detail from p. [4] of the miscellany: Can anyone identify what this text is? Leave messages in the comments below and I’ll provide additional clues if needed. (As a reminder, you can click on all of the images in this post to enlarge them in a new window.) This folio-sized miscellany is best known for Oxinden’s list of 123 Elizabethan and Jacobean play texts (including many by Shakespeare) from his library.… Continue Reading

A book’s fingerprints

Last week’s crocodile mystery may have been a bit too mysterious, but I hope that today’s post will inspire you to look for similar mysteries on your own. Here’s a close-up detail of what I was asking about: As with nearly all photographs shared on this blog, if you click the image, a larger version will open in a new window.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: May edition

First, my thanks to all of you who suggested new  names for this series on identifying objects in our collection. The best suggestion came from Jeremy Dibbell, on twitter, who found this perfect moment in Antony and Cleopatra: LEPIDUS: What manner o’ thing is your crocodile? ANTONY: It is shaped, sir, like itself, and it is as broad as it hath breadth.… Continue Reading

Folger Tooltips: updates on links to early Shakespeare editions

Hello dear readers: Past tooltip posts have highlighted various efforts at digital outreach to academics, e.g., via links to our Digital image database from Hamnet, or from finding aids. But fulfilling the mission of the Folger requires more than that—among other things, we also aim to provide digital access to the collection for multiple additional audience types, from teachers at all levels, to young students, to life-long learners.… Continue Reading

News of St. Bartholomew’s Day, 1572

When the Swann Auction Gallery catalog for the March 15 sale crossed my desk, I flipped through as usual, looking for things that might fit the Folger’s collection development policy. I wasn’t paying too much attention, since it was primarily a sale of Americana, but a German illustrated news sheet of the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre caught my eye, so I went to the online auction site for more information: It turned out to be one of Franz Hogenberg’s so-called Geschichtsblätter (“history broadsheets”), a series several hundred prints depicting the Wars of Religion that Franz Hogenberg and his successors published from 1569 to 1637.… Continue Reading

Dye to live, live to dye

The Folger has recently acquired some interesting hybrid books; that is, books which consist of a mixture of thematically-connected printed, manuscript, and graphic material gathered from a variety of sources into a single binding. Sidney scholar and Folger reader Margaret Hannay and I just spent some time with one of these acquisitions, an embellished copy of Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke’s translation of Philippe de Mornay’s treatise, A discourse of life and death (London, 1600), with 17 pages of manuscript texts and 4 pages of hand-colored prints appearing before and after the printed text, all tightly focused on the theme of the transitory nature of life.… Continue Reading

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