The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Q & A: Eric Johnson, Director of Digital Access

Eric Johnson is the Folger’s new Director of Digital Access, heading the new Digital Media and Publications division. He has developed successful projects and programs for U.S. Department of State, the Washington Times, the World Bank, the state of Georgia, and other public- and private-sector organizations. He is best known in the Shakespearean community as the creator of Open Source Shakespeare, one of the most widely-used online resources in the field.… Continue Reading

Measuring Hamlet and the golden section

It is an understatement to say that the layout of most books doesn’t show much daring, and that academic publications are among the most dull in this respect. But solid content and tasteful form do not necessarily exclude each other, as is convincingly demonstrated by the Canadian book designer Robert Bringhurst. Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style is not only a poetical account of his subject, it is a beautiful object that reflects the importance of its content.… Continue Reading

Sizing books up

A couple of weeks back I posted some images with the aim of destabilizing some of our assumptions about what early modern texts look like. In the mix was an image of a “big” book followed by a “tiny” one. It was, I think, obvious even on the computer screen that the big book was big and the tiny one was tiny.… Continue Reading

It’s the details thnt matter

There were two odd things happening in last week’s crocodile mystery, which featured an opening from the first English edition of Nicolàs Monardes’s Joyfull newes out of the newe founde worlde (STC 18005). The first was the easier to spot, assuming you paid attention to the information at the top of the page that we don’t usually pay attention to. In the headline (that bit of text that runs across the top of a page usually identifying the book or section of the book being read), there was a “thnt” instead of “that” on the left-hand side of the opening.… Continue Reading


Noticing the weirdness of texts

Sometimes it’s fun just to look at books without worrying what they are and who printed them and what the text says. And sometimes, when you do that, you notice all sorts of ways in which they’re weird—they mix manuscript and print together, they play with layout and movement, they come in different shapes and sizes, we find them in unexpected places.… Continue Reading

Proof prints, part two; or, Proofs and proofiness

Last month’s post from me (your friendly neighborhood art historian) looked at trial proofs and progressive proofs (see Proof prints, part one). As promised, here’s a look at a third kind of proof in printmaking: proofs that aren’t really “proofs” as such, just “proofy,” to adapt Stephen Colbert’s terminology. Traditionally, a proof is a test impression of some sort, something not meant for sale.… Continue Reading

The Single Vine Leaf, aka the “Aldine Leaf”

I have always been a devotee of the “Aldine leaf”, even long before I knew its exact name or where it actually came from, and I am still delighted spotting it in early modern typography or when it is expertly used in current printed material. As with most delicate things in life, it should be applied with moderation and with consideration of the right time and place.… Continue Reading

Shakespeare’s personal library, as curated by William Henry Ireland

Co-written by Heather Wolfe and Arnold Hunt It’s every bibliophile’s dream. You’re in a bookshop, or maybe at a local auction, browsing idly along the shelves. It’s late in the afternoon and you’re just preparing to leave, when you spot a bundle of old pamphlets loosely piled in a cardboard box. At the very bottom of the bundle you pull out a slim volume bound in old calf. … Continue Reading

An alter’d case: An annotated copy of The Roaring Girl

A guest post by Victoria Myers [Editor’s note: Victoria Myers was a student in the Fall 2012 Folger Undergraduate Seminar taught by Sarah Werner. As part of that course, Victoria researched the history of a copy of the first printing of The Roaring Girl (STC 17908). She continued her research for her capstone project for her Renaissance Studies major at the University of Maryland.Continue Reading