The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

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


Textual variants in Shakespeare’s love letter to Anne Hathaway

When Shakespeare was young and in love, he wrote a gushing letter to his bride-to-be, enclosing with it a lock of his hair and five verses. Or that’s what an audacious teenager in the 1790s would have us all believe. The supposed love letter is the handiwork of forger William Henry Ireland. For those of you new to him, see Arthur Freeman’s account of his identification of the original Ireland forgeries at Harvard, and the Collation post on William Henry Ireland’s forged Shakespeare library by Arnold Hunt and me.… Continue Reading

Documents, in microcosm

I have been part of the team that has been working to create Shakespeare Documented, which launched on January 20, 2016. In the last few weeks before launch, one of my main duties became the creation the thumbnail image for many of the nearly 500 items that are showcased on the website. What are thumbnails? In the context of a website, they are small images that represent larger images—sort of a preview, if you will, of what’s on the full image.… Continue Reading

Formal designs

Did you solve last week’s crocodile mystery? It’s a sonnet! A visual representation of the phonetic structures of Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. XXIX, to be precise (rotated sideways to be extra-mysterious). The pattern was created by Marjory Bates Pratt in 1940, as one of her Formal designs for ten Shakespeare sonnets (Sh.Misc. 1128). In Pratt’s own words, “The designs in this book were constructed by means of a method intended to represent visually the basic sound-patterns of poetry.… Continue Reading

Chacolet

a Guest Post by Marissa Nicosia and Alyssa Connell Since we launched Cooking in the Archives in 2014 we’ve been looking for chocolate. We love chocolate, our friends and family who taste our recipes love chocolate, and we were pretty sure that the readers of our historical food website would love chocolate recipes from the archives as well. We knew hot chocolate or drinking chocolate existed in early modern England, but it took us a while to find a recipe.… Continue Reading


The Amherst-Folger Fellows

As readers of The Collation know, the Folger welcomes scholars on fellowship, Folger Institute program participants, and individual readers to our reading rooms. But what our readers may not know is that each January, we open our doors to a special group of scholars, the Amherst-Folger Fellows. This group consists of Amherst College undergraduate students, carefully selected through an application and interview process.… Continue Reading

Purchases from the Robert S. Pirie Collection, Part 3: the manuscripts

In addition to the printed books and embroidered bindings described in last week’s post, the Folger also acquired 26 early modern manuscripts at the Robert S. Pirie sale at Sotheby’s (New York) in early December 2015. They should be arriving at the Folger soon, and we are eager to accession them, catalog them, and get them into the hands of our readers.… Continue Reading

Purchases from the Robert S. Pirie Collection, Part 2: the printed material

The Folger Shakespeare Library acquired 45 lots, 19 of them printed books, at the auction sale of the Pirie collection that took place on December 2–4, 2015, at Sotheby’s, New York (we’ve also put up the complete list of our acquisitions from this sale). As we described in our previous post about the sale, a great deal of preparation went into this auction, and part of that involved comparing our current holdings with the items offered in the sale.… Continue Reading