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The Collation

Unwanted doodles in a Shakespeare quarto

Our new curator of early modern books and prints, Caroline Duroselle-Melish, and I were up in the conservation lab a few days ago, consulting with book conservator Adrienne Bell on the optimal opening for safely digitizing a quarto edition of Henry VI, Part 3 (STC 21006a copy 1) in preparation for our “Wonder of Will” commemoration activities next year at the Folger. While inspecting the book, we noticed that the title leaf and last leaf were much thicker than the other leaves, and entirely blank on their versos. That seemed strange, so we looked at the title page through transmitted daylight to investigate further. This is what we saw (click to enlarge the images in this post):

Verso of title page to 3 Henry VI (London, 1600) viewed through transmitted daylight.


In a December issue, even The New Yorker used the word “manicule” in writing about marginalia. So the topic is definitely catching on! It’s time for the OED to admit defeat and add “manicule” to their “unabridged” collection of words.

Richard M. Waugaman — February 11, 2015


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