The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Tagged: continental books

Opening Ornamental Initials

During the last couple of months at the Folger, we have come across a number of exceptional ornamental initials in Flemish imprints, as we are processing these systematically together with two interns. These initials can be fascinating to study. For example, look at the beginning of the first book of Lodovico Melzo’s Regole militari […] sopra il governo e servitio della cavalleria, published in Antwerp by Joachim Trognesius in 1611: (Click on any image in this post to enlarge it.)… Continue Reading

An important auction

Let it be known that amongst the furniture of the late Duke of Aerschot, there are about 2000 paintings in all kinds of colors by a variety of excellent masters, such as Albrecht Dürer, Lucas van Leyden, Jan Gossaert, Hieronymus Bosch, “Florus Daych,” “Longue Pierre,” Titian, Veronese, and others.Continue Reading

The Folger’s Mazarinades: Libraries within Libraries

A guest post by Kathryn Gucer In 1652, Gabriel Naudé argued passionately for the importance of libraries and collecting books in a brief pamphlet, Advis a nosseigneurs de Parliament. Naudé repudiates a proposal by the parliament of Paris to break up and sell off the library of Cardinal Jules Mazarin, chief adviser to Louis XIV and the parliament’s arch enemy.… Continue Reading

Capital News from the Low Countries

What from a distance may look like a pasture, perhaps with oddly shaped poppies or some other flowers on the foreground and two buildings in the background, is actually much less pleasant. (Click any image in this post to enlarge it; once it opens in a new window/tab, click again to zoom in for details.)… Continue Reading

Winning the lottery

On Saturday 4 November 1617, the archdukes of the Southern Netherlands, Albert and Isabella, granted permission to the “gentil homme Lucquois” Matthias Micheli to organize a lottery for the foundation of the “Bergen van Barmhartigheid” or “Monts de piété.” First invented in Italy in the 15th century, the Monts were public pawnbroking institutes where people could give goods as collateral to borrow money at relatively cheap interest rates.… Continue Reading

Cataloging at the Folger: a Primer

When I meet people for the first time and they hear that I am a rare book cataloger, I can expect one or both of these questions: “What’s a rare book,” and “What is cataloging?” This crowd doesn’t need my expostulations on the first, but cataloging is just enough of an unknown that a primer may be in order. Library cataloging is the process of providing structured description and controlled vocabulary into bibliographic records, and of collecting these records into a system of some sort.… Continue Reading

Second Thoughts on Second Editions. The Dutch Fingerprint (Part II)

In my previous Collation post I explained what a bibliographic fingerprint is and how it works. The examples I will discuss in this post will demonstrate how useful the fingerprint is to compare copies remotely and to identify title editions and variants within editions. Some of these discoveries may shed more light on (bad) habits in book production and the marketing of books in the early modern period.… 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

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

Q & A: Goran Proot, Curator of Rare Books

On June 1st, Goran Proot became the new Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Rare Books at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Now that he’s had a chance to settle in a bit, it’s time for us to introduce him to Collation readers and—soon—for him to become one of our regular contributors! Goran (born in 1972, the worst-wine year of the century, he points out) has a Master’s degree in Language and Literature and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, both from Leuven (the oldest university of the Low Countries) and an MA in Information and Library Sciences from Antwerp University, where he also obtained his PhD.… Continue Reading