The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Ben Greet: “Thank God for Henry Clay Folger”

A guest post by Stephen Grant First, a most Happy New Year to you all! I’m sure that 2020 is the beginning of a big decade for the Folger!! And I can’t wait until the Folger Centennial in 2032!!! For the first 2020 post in the series “Postcards in the Folger Archives,” dear Collators, we’ll try something new. We’ll pick a friend of both Henry and Emily Folger and follow a timeline.… Continue Reading

Sizing Shakespeare’s Sonnets

A guest post by Faith Acker I still remember the first rare book I handled in a library. It was Thomas Caldecott’s copy of the Shake-speares Sonnets. Neuer before imprinted (Thomas Thorpe, 1609) a beautiful quarto that Caldecott presented to the Bodleian Library in 1833, and that the Bodleian allowed me to hold and read while I was working on my M.Litt.… Continue Reading

The Eighteenth-Century Manuscript Verse Miscellany

A guest post by Betty Schellenberg Recently I’ve been exploring the very active literary lives of eighteenth-century lower gentry and middle-class individuals. Many of these socially obscure people not only composed and exchanged verse in manuscript form within their own social networks, but also copied out and arranged contemporary poetry that they found in printed sources. My primary evidence for this is the manuscript verse miscellany.… Continue Reading

Happy New Year (by one calendar anyway)

We’re well aware that around the world, and across time, there are many calendars (boy howdy do we know that), but if the calendar that you use is about to change over to January 1, 2020, we wish you a wonderful and happy new year! We’ll be back next week with our regularly scheduled content!… Continue Reading

December Greetings

As we pass the winter solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the days grow longer at last (apologies to our readers in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s all down hill for you), we wanted to take a moment and wish all of our readers a safe and peaceful winter holiday season. As many of you know, there are some exciting changes coming to the Folger in 2020 and beyond (learn more about our planned construction), but rest assured that The Collation will still be here with our regular(ish) posting schedule.… Continue Reading

The Wandering Soul: On Meeting Theadora Wilkin

A guest post by William Cook Miller While at the Folger Shakespeare Library over the summer, I came across a manuscript so exciting, so intriguing, so multifaceted, that I spent a full week combing through it, photographing it, trying to crack its mysteries. That manuscript is by a little-known—or rather, as far as I have been able to find, totally unknown—writer named Theadora Wilkin, and it bears the daunting title, The WANDERING SOUL in Conference with ADAM, NOAH, and SIMON CLEOPAS (Folger MS W.a.131-132) While the manuscript is not dated, it was probably a work long in progress.… Continue Reading

No Standard Oil Company? No Shakespeare Collection!

A Guest Post by Stephen Grant A decade ago when I was determining angles to consider in approaching Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger, some readers—perhaps at 3 pm Folger tea—recommended I write only on the Folgers as collectors. As I was writing the very first biography of the couple, I finally decided it made little sense to focus on how they spent their money at the neglect of how they earned it in the first place.… Continue Reading

Let there be light! Kliegl lights on the New York Stage

Once again, I seem to have underestimated the level of esoteric knowledge held by our readers. Y’all are delightful (and I’m guessing have worked technical theater at some point…). Yes, yes, indeed. The Crocodile Mystery posted last week does seem to be referring, despite the… umm… creative spelling, to a Klieglight. The image itself comes from Folger manuscript T.a.81, which contains lighting plots for productions of Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew, Merchant of Venice and Hamlet.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: December 2019

Welcome to the final Crocodile Mystery of 2019! As we close out the year (and the decade!), we invite you to look at the image below and tell us, if you can, what on earth it’s talking about?! Leave your thoughts and guesses in the comments below, and we’ll be back next week with an explanation.… Continue Reading

Stuff in Books: a conundrum

When we think of book history, most of us focus on the creation, dissemination, and reception of texts. But as many scholars have begun to discuss in the last few years, books and manuscripts ended up being used in many different ways unrelated to their status as textual objects. Once we begin to consider what purposes bound books and manuscripts might have served beyond their primary function as sources of knowledge and learning, the list gets long fairly quickly.… Continue Reading