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The Collation

Investigating the origins of a Folger manuscript

With this post we inaugurate a series by people working at the Folger as Interns.

Classroom work and professional training never quite capture the true nature of the j – o – b. Therefore, for those pursuing advanced degrees in librarianship or museum studies, an internship or field study can be an extremely important way to gauge one’s aptitude and interest in the day-to-day work, and to strengthen knowledge and skills in areas not adequately covered in library or museum school programs. (Plus, an intern can often get course credit for it!)

For small institutions like the Folger, adding short-term staffing by way of internships is an important strategy for pushing projects forward. And for independent academic institutions like the Folger, without a ready supply of work-study undergrads or graduate assistants, this strategy can be essential. An active internship program also provides us with an important educational opportunity to “pay it forward,” as it were: assisting with the professional development and training of those who may be new to the profession helps to ensure that they are well acquainted with what we see as best practices.

Many intern projects on Deck A consist of turning typescript finding aids and descriptions with fading, and often cryptic, pencil annotations into online finding aids encoded in EAD. We always think it’s going to be a straight-forward process until our interns start pointing out ambiguities and anomalies. Staff has learned a lot about our collection from the efforts of interns, and we are happy for the opportunity to share their discoveries and insights more widely.

With that introduction out of the way, let us just add a heartfelt “thank you” to all of our past and present interns! And for those future interns among you, be sure to check out our “Employment and Internships” page on the Folger website.

A guest post by Folger Intern Ashley Behringer

Folger MS G.b.10 is a bound collection of copies of state papers and other materials dating from 1607 to 1625 and most likely copied shortly thereafter. At first glance, the items seem to be selected and arranged at random. They seem that way at second glance as well: letters of recommendation for Englishmen abroad, petitions to the king concerning property disputes, excerpts from a book about Ireland, requests for printing rights, plans to make a fortune in Virginia. Organization is neither chronological nor thematic. Most are copied from the papers of Ralph Winwood, a diplomat under Elizabeth and Secretary of State from 1614 to his death in 1617.


Drue Burton married Joan Coshame at St Giles Cripplegate, London 11 Apr 1611, which may be of interest

Cliff Webb — January 20, 2012