The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Folger Tooltips: New Hamnet URL and search limit

We’ve recently made two small but significant improvements to Hamnet, the Folger’s online catalog—not enough to be worth a fanfare of “New and improved!” but probably at least worth pointing at while saying “Still old, but less irksome!” The first change is so obvious you’ll wonder why it took so long: Hamnet’s hostname now matches its name-name. Go to hamnet.folger.edu and you’ll get (surprise!) Hamnet.… Continue Reading

When is an inscription not an inscription?

Two folks identified the key elements of this month’s crocodile mystery in their comments: Misha Teramura correctly noted that the inscription in the middle of the page—“pp. 184-190 refer to the progress of religion westward toward America”—refers to George Herbert’s final poem from The Temple, “The Church Militant.” And David Shaw noted that the other inscriptions—“8652” on the top left and “A176” on the bottom right—look to be an accession number and a shelf mark.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: October 2014

What might we say about this month’s crocodile mystery? October crocodile (click to enlarge) As always, the mystery is not only what this thing actually is, but why it might be of interest. Leave your guesses in the comments below and come back next week for the reveal! Update October 7, 2014: The reveal is now revealed in “When is an inscription not an inscription?“… Continue Reading

What to eat after a long morning’s work in the Star Chamber

Well, if it’s fish Friday, the menu consisted of… fish! Fish, glorious fish. Thirty or more courses of fish, including oysters, ling, green fish, salt white herring, salt salmon, salmon, great pike, smaller pike, crayfish, roach, great carp, smaller carp, roasting eel, stock fish, chub, tench, chevin, perch, bream, salt eel, loach, flounder, smelt, gurnard, shrimp, whiting, plaice, trout, lamprey, lobster, crab, knobbard, turbot, fresh cod, haddock, barbel!… Continue Reading

Q & A: Paul Dingman, EMMO Project Manager

Paul Dingman started at the Folger Shakespeare Library in late May of this year as the Project Manager for EMMO (Early Modern Manuscripts Online). Before that, he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Alfred University where he taught classes in history and literature of the medieval/early modern periods. Paul earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of Rochester in 2013; he also has an M.A.… Continue Reading

Surprised by Stanhope

My favorite encounter with a book is one where I think I know what I’m going to find, but then something else entirely happens. My most recent serendipitous encounter came thanks to a tweet: Sjoerd Levelt was tweeting some images for #FlyleafFriday and shared an image of one of the Folger’s books, a copy of Francis Bacon’s Advancement of Learning that has as its flyleaf the last leaf of John Selden’s Titles of Honor (STC 1166 copy 6): That’s pretty fun in and of itself (and you can see more images of the flyleaves and binding in our digital image collection), but Sjoerd noticed something else.… Continue Reading

Folger Tooltips: Getting raw Hamnet data

Non-librarians out there, have you ever clicked the “MARC View” or “Staff view” link in an online catalog record? In Hamnet, the Folger’s online catalog, it’s the third choice at the top of each record. I vividly remember the first time I did. It was back when I was building a relational database to manage my dissertation research (and back when I thought I wanted to be an Art History professor).… Continue Reading

Constructing volvelles

As Elizabeth Bruxer correctly identified within a few short hours of its posting, this month’s crocodile mystery showed the inner disc of an unconstructed volvelle from a copy of the 1591 edition of Giambattista della Porta’s De furtivis literarum  notis (STC 20118). The key to her identification lay in recognizing the image as being part of a volvelle and guessing that it was connected to ciphers.… Continue Reading


Pop Shakespeare’s typography

If you’ve been spending any time on social media recently, you’re likely to have come across Pop Sonnets, a new Tumblr that provides, in their words, “Old twists on new tunes, every Thursday.” Here, for instance, is their deft rewriting of Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 hit, “I Will Survive“: Pop Sonnets’ adaptation of Gloria Gaynor   If you know Gaynor’s song, you’ll appreciate the adaptation of the song’s chorus and verse structure to the sonnet’s characteristic use of the final turn.… Continue Reading

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