The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Folger Tooltips: Digital Image URLs, part two

Dear Readers: This post is a continuation of the last tooltip on digital image URLs. The last post discussed how to link via a static URL to a luna.folger.edu search result set, how to link to the detail view and description of a single digital image, and how to link to a single zoomed-in detail by making use of the “image workspace.”… Continue Reading

Early modern book history: it’s not just for English majors

Every seminar I teach on early modern book history, I like to start with a class asking what is book history? We read Robert Darnton’s essay, of course, along with pieces from D. F. McKenzie and Roger Chartier, along with some supplemental readings (this year, those included a piece on medieval books and some work from a pair of economic historians).… Continue Reading

Elizabeth goes to New York

On September 5, two professional art handlers from Artex Fine Art Services loaded a great big wooden crate onto their climate-controlled box truck, strapped it securely into the rear cargo area, then strapped my little suitcase next to it. The three of us climbed into the cab and hit the road: the Folger’s “Sieve” portrait of Queen Elizabeth I was on her way to The Jewish Museum in New York for Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries.… Continue Reading

Detective Work: The Dutch Fingerprint (Part I)

Previous Collation posts may convince even the most skeptical reader that bibliographic work often requires detective work. In some cases, this may involve bibliographers to take fingerprints. Fingerprints are regularly used by bibliographers to find out whether or not two copies are printed from the same setting of type. Roughly speaking, identical settings in two copies mean that the copies originate in the same print run and may be part of the same edition.… Continue Reading

Printer’s waste or endleaf?

Last week’s crocodile mystery concerned the nature of a fragment of paper used to repair a letter from Thomas Cromwell to Nicholas Wotton written in 1539. This mystery is probably not the first, or the last, time that our answers are not perfectly satisfactory. We offer some identifications, theories, hunches, and further questions, below. If you think we are on the wrong track, be sure to let us know! … Continue Reading

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: September edition

Don’t panic—it’s still August, but rather than wait until the middle of September to share the new crocodile mystery,  I’m going to share it now and Heather will discuss it next week. At initial glance, it’s pretty clear what’s illustrated below: an address leaf of a letter, in this case a newly acquired letter from Thomas Cromwell to Nicholas Wotton, 8 November  [1539].… Continue Reading

Folger Tooltips: Digital Image URLs, part one

Hello Collation readers: Today starts a new series of posts on URL behavior in our image databases, the Folger Digital Image Collection and the Folger Bindings Image Collection. You may remember previous posts providing guidance about URLs in the Folger Shakespeare Library’s OPAC Hamnet. Similarly, one of the benefits of the LUNA digital image database software is the ability for users to link via a static URL to just about any screen at all.… Continue Reading

The material history of… ?

The phrase “history of the book” is commonly used as a catch-all for the history and study of the physical components and technology behind traditional printer’s-ink-on-folded-paper-in-a-binding books, whether or not the thing being studied is itself a traditional book or component of such a book. Studying papermaking and the physical properties of paper (for instance, “Learning to ‘read’ old paper“) is part of book history… unless  the paper’s theoretical destiny is to be drawn on.… Continue Reading

A treasure chest 6.75 meters long

It is not a secret that in most libraries—and I am tempted to write “in all libraries”—treasures are slumbering and waiting for their discovery. This sort of thing may happen when you least expect it, for instance when you call for a book and it turns out to be a completely different one than the one you think you asked for.… Continue Reading

Believe it or not: strange accidents and reports

  Early modern jokes and curiosities have a way of making us feel like insiders and outsiders at the same time. We’ll encounter jokes such as “A mad man is as stronge as two / Because he is a man besides himselfe” and think, Hey, I get it, early modern folks are just like us, and if I were eight years old I would think this was hilarious!… Continue Reading