The mystery of the Shakespearian cartoons
I first encountered this book three years ago, in 2015. Intrigued by its sparse catalog record, which at that point consisted of a cataloger-supplied title (“”), an estimated page count, and little more, I went down to the vault to…
Sonnets by Shakespeare...'s spirit?
As the common saying goes, only death and taxes are certain. However, consider the uncertainties that can accompany any tax season: missing W-2s, e-file services incompatible with your browser, shifting standards, mathematical errors… That’s enough about taxes! Let’s talk about…
An edition of Richard III "adapted for amateurs"
Black actor J.A. Arneaux starred as the title character in the Astor Place Company’s production of Richard III and published his own 19th-century edition.
The Shakespeare stamps
As several philatelically-astute readers quickly identified, the portrait of Shakespeare shown in last week’s Crocodile mystery is from a stamp! These one shilling stamps were issued annually for a number of years at the turn of the 20th…
The author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland gave this beautiful edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream to his illustrator for Christmas
Lewis Carroll gave this lovely 1868 edition of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” with delicate cut-paper images by Paul Konewka, to his illustrator for “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” John Tenniel.
Shakespeare's ghost revealed!?
Transparencies, popular in the late 1700s, use back-lighting to reveal a secret image. See one from the Folger collection that reveals Shakespeare’s ghost in Westminster Abbey.
A nineteenth-century family circus
A few months ago, I wrote about the process of creating brief catalog records for the Folger’s playbill collection. Since then, I’ve completed records for playbills from London and all of Scotland, and have begun working my way through playbills…
Two Shakespearean actors, a book, and a biographer corrected
Famous Shakespearean actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928) took the liberty of correcting certain biographical errors in a book about her friend Henry Irving.
Shakespearian novelties- er, novelettes
I was pretty intrigued when I pulled this case marked “Shakespearian novelties” from the shelf in the Vault… Spine of the case housing four “Shakespearian novelettes” … then I realized that it actually said “Shakespearian novelettes,” and my excitement dimmed…
A tale of three playbills: The Lighthouse, The Frozen Deep, and The Merry Wives of Windsor
See playbills from the Folger collection of amateur (and fundraising) performances by Charles Dickens, from Wilkie Collins to Shakespeare.
A Hamlet that's almost too fragile to open
The pages of this 1930 edition of Shakespeare’s Hamlet look insect-eaten or worse, but they’re actually made out of sheets of cork, not paper.
How to catalog 100,000 playbills (give or take a few thousand)
You’re probably aware that a significant amount of the Folger’s collection remains uncataloged; the majority of items have at least brief records in our online catalog Hamnet, but even today some collections are accessible only through the card catalog. We don’t…