The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Warwick Castle Shakespeare Library

Whoof, it looks like the numbers and letters in this month’s Crocodile Mystery were a bit too cryptic! In this case, the alphanumeric collections are shelf marks. In particular, they are shelf marks from the Warwick Castle Shakespeare Library, ca. 1890. And what are they doing in the Folger’s collection? Well, pull up a chair and a cup of tea, because that’s a bit of a tale.… Continue Reading

Our new catalog is here!

In April we announced the preview of our new catalog, and now it is time to make it official: the new catalog is here! Visit it at https://catalog.folger.edu/. TIND ILS (Get comfy; this is a long one. Feel free to scroll down to the New features and resources section if you want to skip to the bells and whistles!) The new catalog is powered by the TIND ILS (Integrated Library System).… Continue Reading

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: June 2022

Welcome to our June Crocodile Mystery! (Confused as to why it’s a “crocodile” mystery? Learn how it got that name.) Special collections libraries are full of strange and mysterious acronyms, abbreviations, and codes. For this month’s mystery, tell us, if you will, what this alpha-numeric assortment is, and what it’s doing in our collection. As always, leave your thoughts and guesses in the comments and we’ll be back next week with more info.… Continue Reading

Reading Shakespeare in English in Eighteenth-Century Spain

a guest post by John Stone Deanne Williams, who was a Folger fellow in 2003, tells the story of how her work on early modern girlhood took shape just after her daughter was born—she began thinking about histories of gender, development, reading and the stage in a new way. My interest in English print in old-regime Spain likewise began with my kids.… Continue Reading

The Harmsworth Collection

Book collecting is a passion, or as Nicholas Basbanes famously called it, “a gentle madness,” that affects no few people. Henry and Emily Folger were two such bibliophiles, amassing the largest private collection of Shakespeareana in the world. This collection now forms the core of the Folger Shakespeare Library, which as an institution gives shape to their larger vision of making the study, appreciation, and enjoyment of Shakespeare’s works available to all.… Continue Reading

Postcards in the (home) archive: 1941

a guest post by Stephen Grant Printed on picture side: W7. THE FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D.C. H. H. Rideout. Printed on address side: The Folger Shakespeare Library, an important addition to the culture of the nation was the gift of the late Henry C. Folger. The collection includes more than 70,000 volumes, as well as pictures and other relics of the famous poet’s life and work.… Continue Reading

Not for the faint of heart

Thanks to everyone who registered a guess for this month’s Crocodile Mystery and congratulations to those of you who answered correctly! As many of you pointed out, the oddity in the final disposition of characters is Macbeth’s full-bodied presence on the stage—usually we just see his head, held aloft by Macduff! Read on for the gory details… A while ago, I wrote about the stinky ingredients used to create the effect of the witches’ cauldron in Macbeth.… Continue Reading

Invitation to preview our new catalog

Psssst…. we’re working on a new online catalog for the Folger collection. Do you want to help out by having an early look? If so, please keep reading! The link is deliberately buried deep in this blog post because there’s some context we want you to have, and some important warnings about the parts that we’re still working on.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: May 2022

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the Crocodile Mystery for May. This month, take a moment to examine this image from a 19th century printed text of Macbeth published as a promptbook for performance. What is odd about the disposition of characters in the book’s suggestion for the play’s final staging? Lock in your guesses in the comments below. See you next week for the big reveal!… Continue Reading

Reading the Past and Researching During COVID-19

a guest post by Daniel Davies I defended my Ph.D. dissertation on April 3, 2020. The defense happened on Zoom, which has become standard academic operating procedure by now but at the time felt like an extreme oddity. ‘Zoom is a really easy-to-use program and is more reliable, and flexible, than Skype,’ I wrote to my advisor on March 12, without any sense of how this program would come to define our lives.… Continue Reading