The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

The most interesting use of our data will not be what we think it is

In Bloom It’s safe to say, the bloom is off the rose. Online collections just aren’t as sexy as they once were. Increasingly ubiquitious plans to put digital images online excite an increasingly smaller crowd. And projects that rely on new “Turning the Page” applications are likely to draw more ire than praise from a growing cohort (while beautiful, they pose problems for scholarly work and digital preservation).… Continue Reading

Folger Tooltips: Hamnet URLs, part one

The modest purpose of today’s tooltip is to introduce one major piece of scaffolding available to you in staging your online research at the Folger: the humble URL. Today we’ll talk about Hamnet bibliographic records and Basic Searches; future URL tooltips will cover more advanced Hamnet hotlink wrangling, as well as how to make URLs more useful to you in some of our other online resources.… Continue Reading

A Trip to the Fair

Every November, the International Fine Print Dealers’ Association (IFPDA) holds a fair at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan. Colloquially known as the New York Print Fair, almost 100 dealers from the US, Canada, and Europe bring a selection from their stock for visitors to inspect, admire, and possibly purchase. There’s no obligation to buy anything more than an admission ticket, so it’s a great opportunity for people to see museum-quality art without velvet ropes or protective glass, and to take pictures of anything they want (using a flash is an etiquette violation because it disturbs others, and I didn’t want to lug around a proper camera, so for the “Photo by Erin Blake” credit on these images, please read “No-flash photo by Erin Blake, taken in haste with her phone, and very definitely not a Folger photo by Julie Ainsworth“).… Continue Reading

Research aids: understanding catalog records

A number of posts and comments in The Collation have discussed the wonderful work that Folger catalogers do. But sometimes we all need assistance to fully grasp what information is being conveyed in those detailed Hamnet records. As I mentioned in a footnote in my last post, I find the RBMS/BSC Latin Place Names File a very useful resource in working with early book imprints, since the Latin form of place names given in imprints is sometimes so very different from the names by which I know of those places.… Continue Reading

Marginalizing heralds and antiquaries

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were a period of major transition for English heralds, as the number of arms being granted increased exponentially, requiring improved methods of record-keeping. Their job was both ceremonial (ordering and keeping score at tournaments, ordering funerals) and archival (granting and confirming coats of arms, carrying out visitation to determine the accuracy of the pedigrees and coats of arms that people claimed, and compiling dictionaries of arms to prevent duplication).… Continue Reading

The books on our shelf

Headers on blogs are sometimes just pretty pictures, just as sometimes books sitting on a shelf are just books sitting there. In this case, however, the books sitting on the shelf in our header image are not only pretty, but revealing! The picture that is the basis for The Collation‘s header was taken by Erica Abbey, one of the Folger’s photographers, in our Deck C rare materials vault on September 11, 2009.… Continue Reading

Watermarks & hidden collections

Hidden collections—that is, collections that are undescribed or underdescribed—are exceedingly common in libraries and archives. Until recently, the manuscript and printed paper that make up the E. Williams watermark collection, including papers of the Hale family of King’s Walden and other papers was an example of a hidden collection. In contrast with completely undescribed collections, however, a minimal description of one element of the materials did exist: in this case, a handlist provided by the bookseller describing watermark features of the paper.… Continue Reading

Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November

Last week, while flipping through a magazine (sorry, I don’t recall which one, but you probably all read the same stuff I do), my attention was caught by a photo of two people wearing what I immediately recognized as Guy Fawkes masks. Now, how Guy Fawkes would be instantly recognizable in twenty-first-century popular culture is one of the things that gave me pause.… Continue Reading

Folger Tooltips: Announcing Impos[i]tor

With today’s Tooltip, the Folger Shakespeare Library is proud to offer Impositor, an online tool to automatically arrange digital images from the collection into simulated impositions (the laying out of pages into the formes of printed sheets). Folio, quarto, octavo, duodecimo, and sextodecimo formats are available. Try it out and let us know what you think! But first, a bit of background.… Continue Reading

A ghost for Halloween

I’d like to say that I cleverly scheduled the installation of Benjamin Wilson’s William Powell as Hamlet encountering the Ghost for last Friday so that the Founders’ Room would have a ghost in time for Halloween. Unfortunately, there were witnesses around when I finally noticed the coincidence, and this blog is open to comments, so I’ll just have to let that one go.… Continue Reading