The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Expurgation with decoration: type ornaments as replacement text

Thanks for the great comments on last week’s Crocodile Mystery. Everyone scores ten points, with full marks going to the two commenters who correctly identified the publication. It is, in fact, a block of nonsense that replaces an expurgated paragraph of text. I wish I could show you the whole page of the Folger copy, but unfortunately, the visual note-to-self shown here is all I’ve got until the Folger re-opens after major renovations.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: July 2021

This month’s Crocodile Mystery comes from a 17th-century publication: What’s going on in this photo? Please speculate, elucidate, and/or procrastinate in the “Comments” section. Also, in case you, like I, had misremembered the source of the catchphrase we use for our monthly WTF (“What-the-Folger”) post, “What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?” is a line from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, scene 7.… Continue Reading

New Acquisition: Photographs of an early 20th-century production of Hamlet in Japan

Welcome to a new regular series here on The Collation! Curatorial staff will be writing short pieces focusing on new acquisitions, hopefully giving our readers a glimpse into how we’re building our collections. Today, I’m excited to share a small set of photographs documenting a production of Hamlet that was performed in Japan in 1933. We acquired these photographs from Rose Counsell at Hozuki Books, whose apt description provides the basis for this short post.… Continue Reading

Folger-Penn Press interview and excerpt: Megan Heffernan, Making the Miscellany

In 2015, The Folger Shakespeare Library and the University of Pennsylvania Press established a cooperative agreement to publish volumes emerging from work substantially shaped by engagement with the Folger collections, often under the aegis of Folger Institute funding. Authors published under the agreement address topics and methodological approaches as broad as those of the collections and research activities of the Folger itself.… Continue Reading

Postcards in the (home) archive: Folger postcards, 1935

A guest post by Stephen Grant Editor’s Note: Stephen’s previous post covers postcards of the Folger from 1934. Printed on picture side: Statue of Puck Folger Shakespeare Library Printed on address side: FIGURE OF PUCK, BY BRENDA PUTNAM   FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D.C. ©RIDEOUT STUDIO    POST CARD    CORRESPONDENCE Written message: “Perhaps with a magnifying glass you can read what Puck is saying.Continue Reading

Malicious teaseling: or how a simple reference question got complicated

We had seven excellent answers to the Crocodile, which included an image titled “Malice,” but not the text below it. The general consensus was that the cowering man was winding thread or wool off of a drop spindle. One of the great things about being a curator is that you get to meet all kinds of people doing all kinds of interesting research in areas that you know little about.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: June 2021

We’re back! Whew! After a few technical difficulties last month, we return to bring you another Crocodile Mystery. We’ll pause while the wild cheering dies down. Please consider the image below and tell us, if you can, what’s going on here? What is the person sitting on the basket doing? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and we’ll be back next week with the answer!… Continue Reading

A recipe for brioche (knitting)

…a Collation KAL (knit-along). Cast on We built our friendship with knits and purls over coffee in the Folger Tea Room. Sharing patterns, exchanging techniques, and giving fiber recommendations are still staple conversation topics for us seven years after we first met. It seemed a natural fit, then, for us to co-author a post about a knitting surprise we found in the Folger collection (and not this kind).… Continue Reading

Facial Misrecognition

A guest post by Wan-Chuan Kao  Oliver Sacks, who brought to popular awareness many cognitive conditions that are simultaneously debilitating and fascinating—such as visual agnosia, of which face blindness is one type—observes that “our faces bear the stamp of our experiences and our character”; and “it is with our faces that we face the world, from the moment of birth to the moment of death.”… Continue Reading

Birds, Beasts, Maps, and Books: The Search for Richard Daniel, Esquire

A guest post by Danielle Skeehan Even before research libraries shut down in March 2020, digitization efforts had already changed how we access archives and how we can do research. From the comfort of my home, I can do a keyword search in Readex, EEBO, Shaw-Shoemaker, and other databases, and access thousands of results in seconds. But, of course, digital archives cannot replace the valuable feedback and support provided by archivists, library staff, your fellowship cohort, and often the fellow sitting next to you in the reading room.… Continue Reading