The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Come Hither, Actors / Textuality

A guest post by Barbara Bono, Arlynda Boyer, Eric Brinkman, Musa Gurnis, Maria S. Horne, Emily MacLeod, Deborah Payne, Melanie Rio, Joseph Roach, Kirara Sato, Katherine Schaap Williams, and Gretchen York The actors are come hither, my lord. (Hamlet, 2.2.416) The twelve members of the recently-concluded Folger Institute seminar “What Acting Is” worked together for ten weeks to develop an actor-centered criticism of Shakespeare.… Continue Reading

Untangling Lady Day dating and the Julian calendar

Folger X.c.92 (3) is my new favorite manuscript: it’s a letter written in Paris that single-handedly demonstrates the fact that “new style” dates refer to two different calendar modernizations. One modernization has to do with the Christian calendar’s reckoning of “the year of our Lord.” The other relates to the Julian calendar having gradually become ten days ahead of the seasonal year thanks to its miscalculation that a leap year is needed every four years, no exceptions.… Continue Reading

And that’s IIIF to you, too

Our Crocodile mystery last week showed some crocodile tears, but the exciting part is just below our sad reptile. This illustrated Italian ducal motto is from Symbola divina & Humana pontificum, imperatorum, regum, by Jacob Typot (Frankfurt, 1652)—and you can get up close to the image in the new Miranda platform. Those who study early modern materials—images, books, and manuscripts—often want to get a closer look at our digital images.… Continue Reading


The Mapper and the Rambler

A guest post by Isaac Stephens Are you a person who makes sure to have all your proverbial ducks in a row, everything meticulously planned out before you engage in a project, make your goals a reality, or depart on a trip? Or rather, are you someone who goes wherever the winds take you, your curiosity and openness to the unexpected prompting you to create things, to reap the rewards of a dream attained, or to traverse the globe?… Continue Reading

Theatrical Bills and Receipts

Folger manuscripts W.b.110 and W.b.111 are an oddly mis-matched pair. W.b.110 is nearly 46cm tall (almost 18 inches, for those playing along at home) and nearly 160 leaves, while W.b.111 is a good 10cm shorter and about a third the length. But both have nearly identical titles in our catalog: “Bills and receipts for the wardrobe, stage properties, writings and printing” (W.b.111 adds that they were “used in productions of Shakespearean and other plays” but the same is true of the contents of W.b.110 as well).… Continue Reading

Folger collections in times of war

As you guessed, the image from last week’s Crocodile Post is a hand-drawn plan for a vault. This particular one was intended to store the Folger’s rare books during World War II. The hand-drawn plan is the work of Stanley King, the president of Amherst College from 1938-1946. Ever since the death of Henry Folger in 1930, the Folger Shakespeare Library has been under the administrative auspices of Amherst College—Folger’s alma mater.… Continue Reading


The Charming Mr. Stoker and the Monster Within

A guest post by Jason McElligott Let me begin with a confession that may not endear me to many friends of the Folger: I don’t enjoy Shakespeare. To be completely honest, I find him hard work. Now, I am not a complete ignoramus. I do understand the importance of his work, and as a teenager studying for school exams there was a brief period when I knew the entirety of Julius Caesar and King Lear off-by-heart.… Continue Reading

The Journey is Underway for Before ‘Farm to Table’

By now, you may have read about—or participated in—several activities linked to the project Before ‘Farm to Table’: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures. They have included food-related pop-up exhibitions at Folger public programs (the next one is for A Christmas Messe); Frances Dolan’s “Digging the Past: Writing and Agriculture in the Seventeenth Century” weekend seminar, which included a field trip to Smith Meadows Farm in Berryville, Virginia; a Material Witness seminar on readings about coffee and tea; sessions with distinguished scholars like Ken Albala, known for his food recreation research, and Craig Muldrew, whose numbers-based research assesses early modern food costs, caloric intakes, and more; and even a Thanksgiving-themed adapted recipe for early modern biscuits.… Continue Reading