The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Emily Jordan Folger’s Deltiological Profile

A guest post by Stephen Grant It would be more than a stretch to claim that Henry and Emily Folger were deltiologists, that is, as Collins Dictionary reminds us, persons who collect and study picture postcards. However, postcards played a definite role in each of their lives. Emily’s deltiological profile includes picking out a postcard and slipping it in an envelope along with a letter.… Continue Reading

Got Gout? Eighteenth-Century Global “Remedies” in Mary Kettilby’s Receipt Book

A guest post by April Fuller and Laurel Bassett In her early eighteenth-century recipe, “A Drink for the Gout,” Mary Kettilby’s list of ingredients contain both homegrown roots and objects of empire “pressed into service” for the recovery of the English subject against “Sharp Humours that occasion that dismal Tormenting Distemper.” The availability of spices, in quantity and at more affordable prices in the eighteenth-century, made it possible for men and women up and down the social ladder to take familiar English recipes and add an international twist.… Continue Reading

2019-2020 Folger Fellows

The Folger Institute is pleased to announce our 2019-2020 cohort of Fellows. This year we will welcome forty-four Fellows to the Folger, including five long-term scholars: Clarissa Chenovick, John Kuhn, Kathleen Long, Anna More, and Seth Stewart Williams. In anticipation of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s upcoming building renovation project, the Folger Institute has awarded a unique set of fellowships for the 2019-2020 fellowship year.… Continue Reading

Book Stamps

Many thanks for your guesses. What you see in this picture is the verso of a title page leaf. The stamp at the top of the picture is indeed the one of the Basel Public Library. The coat of arms beneath it depicts the arms of the Gufer von Reinhardsberg family from Bamberg, active at least until the early 18th century.… Continue Reading


Summer Retrospective: Deciphering Signature Marks

It seems appropriate to finish up our summer retrospective series with one of the earliest (and perennially most popular) posts. Whether it’s a back-to-basics refresher for you or an answer to the question you’ve been asking yourself, Deciphering Signature Marks is a must-read for all of our followers. We hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into some of our previous posts. There is so much great content on this blog, the results of hundreds of hours of research and writing by our staff and guest authors, and we hope you’ll keep exploring it on your own, as well as enjoying the new content we continue to post.… Continue Reading

Summer Retrospective: Uncut, unopened, untrimmed, uh-oh

It seems fitting that with last week’s retrospective post being all about paper, this week we should turn to the age-old question: just what do you call it when a book still has pages joined together (aside from “difficult to read”)? Learn the answer in Uncut, unopened, untrimmed, uh-oh.… Continue Reading

Launching Global Environmental History: Dr. Thomas Short on Air and Diseases in 1749

A guest post by Ruma Chopra It took the English doctor Thomas Short eighteen years to publish his nearly 1000-page assessment of the relationship between climates and diseases. Published in 1749, his two-volume history, A general chronological history of the air, weather, seasons, meteors, &c. in sundry places and different times, more particularly for the space of 250 years, together with some of their most remarkable effects on animal (especially human) bodies, and vegetables (Folger 203- 254q) correlates astronomical and climatic conditions to a variety of distempers and diseases in various parts of the world by placing hundreds of scattered episodes in one chronological sequence.… Continue Reading

Summer Retrospective: All About Paper

One of the most important physical aspects of our collection is the very paper on which the books, manuscripts, and drawings were created. Unsurprisingly, we’ve had quite a few posts on this topic! This week, we invite you to take a look at some of them: Learning to “Read” Old Paper—what’s the difference between laid and woven paper anyway? Find out!… Continue Reading

Postcards in the Folger Archives: The 1879 Hyde Prize in Oratory at Amherst College

A guest post by Stephen Grant My first descent into the underground vault took place in 2007 during a short-term Folger fellowship. Since a Summer Retrospective is the order of the day with The Collation, I should like to acknowledge the Feb. 16, 2012 post honoring fellowship administrator, Carol Brobeck. With a tape measure stuffed into a side pocket, I trailed Betsy Walsh, head of reader services, as she led me to yards of shelving supporting dozens of gray archival boxes 10 x 13 x 4” laid out horizontally that formed the Folger Collection she called “Folger Coll.” The Sept.… Continue Reading