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Major Acquisitions under Director Gail Paster

Under Paster’s leadership, collection acquisitions have been raised to a record level, with more than 14,000 new and rare books, manuscripts, engravings, and other materials worth more than $5 million added since 2002.


Highlights include:

The Book of Five Collumes of Architecture by Hans Bloome (London, 1660), a rare architectural treatise

Thomas Brasbridge’s 1592 tract on remedies against the plague, The Poore Mans Jewell

A copy of Martial’s epigrams (Paris, 1617), owned and annotated by Ben Jonson

The Workes of Geoffrey Chaucer with a rare epigram by a contemporary poet

History of the life and death of Henry VIII’s jester, Will Summers

Martin Droeshout’s The Prophecies of the Twelve Sybills, the only known example of the first edition.

Book of magic, a 16th-century manuscript that completes an existing grimoire in the Folger collection

The only known copy of an inflammatory broadside that led to the Astor Place Riot

An extremely rare bird’s-eye etching of London (ca. 1660) by Wenceslaus Hollar

1581 anonymous tract A Treatise of Daunses, one of only three in the world and the only copy in North America

Nine emblem books from the John Landwehr collection, including De vvarachtighe fabvlen der dieren, with 107 copperplate engravings of Aesop’s fables by Marcus Gheeraerts.

Lady Anne Clifford’s copy of John Selden’s Titles of Honor (1631)

Manuscript formulary instructing James I on how to address his fellow monarchs and heads of church and state

A large collection of manuscript poems written by, and to, David Garrick, including an unsigned autograph poem by Hannah More

James Northcote’s 18th-century painting, Romeo and Juliet, act V, scene III: Monument Belonging to the Capulets, which brings the Folger’s total number of Boydell paintings to eleven and reunites the Northcote with the other Boydells for the first since 1805.


Two watercolor costume designs for Derek Jarman’s 1979 film of The Tempest

Book of magic: with instructions for invoking spirits, etc. Manuscript, ca. 1580

Wenceslaus Hollar. Bird’s-eye plan of the west central district of London. London, ca. 1660

Yolanda Sonnabend. Costume design of Sprite for Derek Jarman’s The Tempest. Watercolor, 1979

Chaucer. Works. 1550. London, 1550

James Northcote. Romeo and Juliet, act V, scene III. Oil on canvas, ca. 1790

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