The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

learning from mistakes

One of my favorite categories of early modern books are those that show errors, small mistakes made in the process of printing them. I don’t love them because I like to laugh at them. I love finding them because they remind me that books are made by people and they carry with them traces of their making. Books don’t just magically appear.… Continue Reading

Q & A: Carol Brobeck, Fellowships Administrator

Anyone who has been a Fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library can attest to the central role that Carol Brobeck plays as the Fellowships Administrator in making their work possible. She has also worked with scholars and staff on four exhibitions, most recently “Impressions of Wenceslaus Hollar” in 1996 and “Lost at Sea” in 2010. Here Carol gives a sense of her history at the Library, an account of the Fellowships program, and offers some advice for applicants. … Continue Reading

Folger Tooltips: Hamnet URLs, part two

Hello and welcome to another installment in a series of tooltips on the quiet, yet oh-so-ubiquitous universal resource locator (aka URL). As pointed out in Hamnet URLs, part one: because “live” URLS in the Hamnet database are session-based, they can’t be just grabbed from your browser’s address bar and re-used to generate persistent (or “static”) hypertext links to the results of your specific search.… Continue Reading

Woodcut, engraving, or what?

When a reader needs  to verify the printmaking technique behind an early modern book illustration, I’m always happy to grab my favorite 10x loupe and head up to the Reading Room to have a closer look. By popular request, here are some of the things I look for, and some books and websites that can help. Background: relief and intaglio Before the invention of lithography in the 1790s, two basic techniques for mechanically reproducing illustrations existed: relief printing and intaglio printing.… Continue Reading

Women marking the text

“I beegan, to ourloke this Booke . . . .”  These words are written by Lady Anne Clifford on the title page of her copy of John Selden’s Titles of Honor (1631), which is featured in the first case of our new exhibition Shakespeare’s Sisters: Voices of English and European Women Writers, 1500-1700 , opening on February 3rd. Not only did she “read” and “overlook” her book, she also made sure that her secretaries marked the passages of particular interest to her, and sometimes she went back herself and made a note. … Continue Reading

One way of looking at many books

Last week I wrote about two students who worked on (two different copies of) the same book. But looking over the 64 texts that the 66 students I’ve taught over the last five years (in eight different seminars), I’m struck by the wide range of works that students have been drawn to. In general, I require students to work on a book printed before 1700 (though I sometimes make exceptions to that rule depending on their research interests) and written in a language that they can read.… Continue Reading