The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Waste not, want not

As all three commenters worked out, this month’s crocodile image is of printer’s waste used as endleaves. You can see the end of the book on the left side of the opening below (note the “finis” marking the end of the text) and the quarto imposition of the scrap paper used as part of the binding on the right side (note the brown-stained holes near the right edge, left by the clasps that were once there): Printer’s waste is not an unusual thing to see in bindings from this period.… Continue Reading

A catchy Italian design

In 1629 Agostino Mascardi’s Italian story about the conspiracy of Count Giovanni Luigi de Fieschi was published—according to a statement on the engraved title page only suggesting an imprint—in an unspecified Antwerp printing shop. Because of that, the edition is entered into the Short Title Catalogue Flanders, but in reality it is probably not a Flemish imprint at all. In this blog post, I will not go into detail about the printing history of this text, which appeared in the same year as well in Milan and Venice, but I will limit myself to a discussion of the layout elements suggesting a non-Flemish origin.… Continue Reading

Digital Stewardship: The one with all the definitions

My residency project at the Folger focuses on digital stewardship and preservation practices at the Library. This has, to my delight, involved getting my hands dirty with the Folger web collections and also allowed me to interact with a variety of digital assets being created by the Folger. Now that we’ve reviewed the basics of web archiving, I’d like to talk a little bit more about digital stewardship and digital assets.… Continue Reading

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

We’re a few days before the beginning of April still, but who doesn’t want to push this season ahead and get on with spring already? So here is our new crocodile mystery. Some of you will recognize immediately what category of object this is, and if that’s true for you, feel free to push on to try to work out the specifics.… Continue Reading

V, u/v, and library transcription rules

You know the saying, “the great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from?” You know Sarah’s post about the transcription practices used in The Collation, and Goran’s posts about V and U in titles and imprints of 17th-century Flemish books in the STCV? Welcome to the Anglo-American cataloging rules for transcription in early modern texts, which differ from both.… Continue Reading

Aphorism therapy, or, How to cope with dishonest relatives

Poor Walter Bagot (1557-1622). A busy county official in Staffordshire and head of a large extended family with typically complicated financial arrangements, he was on the receiving end of a constant flow of requests, complaints, and excuses. Occasionally, these letters inspired him to reach for his commonplace book and inscribe an appropriate aphorism on them, or else to compose his own proverbs in order to express his growing frustration.… Continue Reading

From tweet to resource

This is the story of how a tweet can grow into an amazing scholarly resource. (And it ends with a plea for you to help!) Just over a year ago, in January 2013, I was looking through the Folger’s collection of Greek texts so that I could find works for a course assignment on describing books. (My intent was to drum into them the necessity of looking at books as an activity that is separate from reading them—and what better way to do that than to ensure that they’re in a language they cannot read?) As part of that browsing, I pulled up a 1517 Aldine edition of Homer’s works, and was blown away by the abundance of annotations in the first part of the book.… Continue Reading

Extensions of the book

A guest post by Daniel Shore Working in the Folger Shakespeare Library over the past eight months, I’ve felt some dissonance between the rich physical resources of the Library and the digital focus of my book project, Cyberformalism, which explores the capacity of full-text searchable archives like Early English Books Online to expand the domain of philological inquiry to new objects of knowledge.… Continue Reading

V and U in 17th-century Flemish book imprints

In my last blog post I discussed the use of “V” and “U” in titles on title pages of 17th-century books published in Flanders. For this blog post I surveyed two extra elements which often appear on title pages as well: the place of publication and the name of the printer/publisher as they appear in the imprint. I wondered whether we would see the same trends when it comes to the use of “V” substituting for “U” as we had in titles.… Continue Reading

A print pricked for transfer

So, what’s up with the crocodile mystery for March? As I said in the comments, Tom Reedy was verrrrry close with “It looks like some sort of device using punctures along a line to allow powder or ink to pass through and transfer the outline of a drawing to another surface.” It isn’t itself such a device. Rather, it is evidence of such a device having been made.… Continue Reading