The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Folger Tooltips: Hamnet URLs, part two

Hello and welcome to another installment in a series of tooltips on the quiet, yet oh-so-ubiquitous universal resource locator (aka URL). As pointed out in Hamnet URLs, part one: because “live” URLS in the Hamnet database are session-based, they can’t be just grabbed from your browser’s address bar and re-used to generate persistent (or “static”) hypertext links to the results of your specific search.… Continue Reading

Woodcut, engraving, or what?

When a reader needs  to verify the printmaking technique behind an early modern book illustration, I’m always happy to grab my favorite 10x loupe and head up to the Reading Room to have a closer look. By popular request, here are some of the things I look for, and some books and websites that can help. Background: relief and intaglio Before the invention of lithography in the 1790s, two basic techniques for mechanically reproducing illustrations existed: relief printing and intaglio printing.… Continue Reading

Women marking the text

“I beegan, to ourloke this Booke . . . .”  These words are written by Lady Anne Clifford on the title page of her copy of John Selden’s Titles of Honor (1631), which is featured in the first case of our new exhibition Shakespeare’s Sisters: Voices of English and European Women Writers, 1500-1700 , opening on February 3rd. Not only did she “read” and “overlook” her book, she also made sure that her secretaries marked the passages of particular interest to her, and sometimes she went back herself and made a note. … Continue Reading

One way of looking at many books

Last week I wrote about two students who worked on (two different copies of) the same book. But looking over the 64 texts that the 66 students I’ve taught over the last five years (in eight different seminars), I’m struck by the wide range of works that students have been drawn to. In general, I require students to work on a book printed before 1700 (though I sometimes make exceptions to that rule depending on their research interests) and written in a language that they can read.… Continue Reading

A newly uncovered presentation copy by Margaret Cavendish

Heather: The other day I received an email from the Conservation Lab with the subject line: “Annotation found on the verso of a lined frontispiece,” and a link to a couple of images, one taken under ultraviolet light. The conservators were preparing a book for the next Folger exhibition, Shakespeare’s Sisters: Voices of English and European Women Writers, 1500-1700, curated by Georgianna Ziegler and open February 3—May 20, 2012.… Continue Reading

Two ways of looking at the same book

As I’ve written about before, in my Undergraduate Seminars students devote the bulk of their research time to crafting a biography of the book they’ve chosen as their primary focus. They find out who wrote the book and who printed and published it, they speculate on who the book’s intended audience was and on how the book might have been received, and they trace the afterlife of the book through the owners of their copy and the later editions and translations of their text.… Continue Reading

Investigating the origins of a Folger manuscript

With this post we inaugurate a series by people working at the Folger as Interns. Classroom work and professional training never quite capture the true nature of the j – o – b. Therefore, for those pursuing advanced degrees in librarianship or museum studies, an internship or field study can be an extremely important way to gauge one’s aptitude and interest in the day-to-day work, and to strengthen knowledge and skills in areas not adequately covered in library or museum school programs.… Continue Reading

Folger Tooltips: Introducing “Folger Collection, by Folger Readers”

The purpose of this post is to introduce a new venue for you, Dear Readers, to post, share, and comment on photos taken by in the course of your research here: a new Flickr group, “Folger Collection, by Folger Readers”. But first, some background … Our Current Reading Room Camera Use Policy As anyone who has worked in our New or Old Reading Rooms in the last 18 months or so knows, we now have a Reading Room Camera Use Policy, which states (in part, but be sure to read the whole thing!): Researchers may take photographs of collection materials as allowed by the library, based on the physical condition of the materials, copyright law, donor restrictions and reading room regulations.… Continue Reading

Wagner and Shakespeare meet in Bayreuth

Back in August, I posted about a unique artists’ book  from 1995. Today, I’d like to showcase an example from the other end of the twentieth century, an artists’ book created in 1908 by American painter Pinckney Marcius-Simons (1867–1909). In his altered copy of a French edition of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream printed in 1886, watercolor and gouache (opaque watercolor) cover every page from edge-to-edge.… Continue Reading