The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

In Defense of the Card Catalog

Whenever I am giving a tour of our Reading Rooms, or introducing a new Reader to our collection, I always make it a point to mention that we still have a card catalog room (two, in fact—one primarily for our printed collections, and one primarily for our manuscripts and art collections), which together hold forty separate series of cards. Left, the card catalog room primarily for the manuscript and art collections; right, the card catalog room primarily for the print collections.… Continue Reading

How to plan a Shakespeare tercentenary

The Folger has a wide assortment of commemorative material relating to Shakespearean celebrations—from David Garrick’s 1769 Shakespeare Jubilee, to tercentaries and quatercentenaries of Shakespeare’s birth (although no materials from the quatercentenary of his death quite yet)—but we hold very few published items that shed light on how those celebrations were organized. Some correspondence of public Shakespeareans touches on celebrations, but is often limited to R.S.V.P.s, after-the-fact congratulations, or incidental mentions (for instance, a letter from Frederick Partington to William Winter referring to “petty revelries“).… Continue Reading

Letter Scraps

Yes, indeed. As several readers astutely figured out, this scrap of paper most likely bears the tail-end of the phrase “Sotheby sale.” As for why it’s in our collection? Well, part of that answer comes with one more piece of information: the handwriting is that of Henry Folger. Several weeks ago, Meaghan wrote about her search for Percy Fitzgerald’s copy of Love’s Sacrifice, and how that led her to a sale catalog from our collection.… Continue Reading


Musae Faciles; or, an Oxford Study Guide

A guest post by Nicholas Tyacke Back in 2008, on the eve of directing a Faculty Weekend Seminar at the Folger, on “The University Cultures of Early-Modern Oxford and Cambridge,” I took the opportunity to consult the card catalog of manuscripts. As a result, and by a nice piece of serendipity, my eye lighted on Folger MS. V.a. 236, Musae Faciles or an Easy Ascent to Parnassus, written by John Crowther and dedicated to Ralph Verney.… Continue Reading

New STC call numbers for old

The Great Reclassification has begun! As some of you may know, all newly-acquired vault material at the Folger is shelved in the order it was accessioned except for publications that fall within the scope of  A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, & Ireland and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475-1640 compiled by A.W. Pollard & G.R. Redgrave, better known at the Folger as “STC” (also well-known as “Pollard and Redgrave”).… Continue Reading

Where is that book? Tracing copies imaged for EEBO

How do you find a book? There are times when not just any copy will do, when you need to locate one exact copy of a book with a certain history. While gathering information for the Folger’s Digital Anthology of Early Modern English Drama, one of my tasks has been to locate—in physical space—the books that are the basis for our electronic editions.… Continue Reading

A monument more lasting than bronze

exegi monumentum aere perennius regalique situ pyramidum altius, quod non imber edax, non Aquilo inpotens possit diruere… (Odes III: XXX, lines 1-4, published 23BC)  I have built a monument more lasting than bronze, higher than the Pyramids’ regal structures, that no consuming rain, nor wild north wind can destroy… So wrote Horace in his Odes III, predicting the far reaching influence of his (and his contemporaries’) work on the coming centuries.… Continue Reading

Fallen Type

Those of you who replied to the Crocodile post last week guessed right: what you see in this image is a piece of fallen type that was printed by accident over a page of text being printed. The height of the type is approximately 24 millimeters, which is the standard height of type (the zooming on the type makes it appear larger than it really is).… Continue Reading


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