Posts By: Sarah Hovde


Ira Aldridge takes the stage

Since their revival by David Garrick in the early eighteenth century, Shakespeare and his plays have always generated a certain aura of celebrity, sometimes referred to as “Bardolatry.” Following in the footsteps of Garrick, stage actors regularly rose to stardom on the strength of their Shakespearean performances, and would continue to play their “signature” roles… Continue Reading »


Play scripts as you like them

Promptbooks help stage managers and actors keep their, er, act straight. Explore these ‘As You Like It’ promptbooks from the Folger collection.


Hamlet on the (very) small stage

Did you pick up a souvenir X-wing figurine for the opening of Rogue One last night? Maybe you’re getting a tie-in edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for Christmas this year, or a poster from the Ghostbusters remake. In 1948, you might have eagerly awaited this book of characters and scenery reproduced from… Continue Reading »


A manual for witch-hunters

Worried about encountering witches like Macbeth this All Hallows Eve? Turn to a witch-hunting manual such as the Malleus Maleficarum! This famous book, known as “The Hammer of Witches” in English, was written in the 15th century by a pair of inquisitors for the Catholic Church. The text was originally published in Latin, as many… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare, in the original Klingon

Did you celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Star Trek episode last week? You’ll be happy to know that Star Trek has a place in the Folger collection! Like most libraries, the Folger has a collection development policy that helps us choose what materials to acquire; this makes sure that we use our budget… Continue Reading »


“You had more beard when I last saw you”: a set of Shakespearean shaving papers

Two Folger exhibitions in this anniversary year have explored Shakespeare’s far-reaching effect on consumer culture: first, America’s Shakespeare considered how the United States has made the Bard our own, and now Will & Jane examines the celebrity status of literary superstars William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. This month’s Folger Find is another example of how deeply Shakespeare… Continue Reading »


Illustrating Shakespeare: Three witches on the heath

Folger Finds delivers delightful and insightful moments with the Folger collection. Sarah Hovde, a cataloger at the Folger Shakespeare Library, shows us some surprise artwork in a 1910 edition of Macbeth. When cataloging a rare book, librarians try to balance describing the things that are identical to every copy of that book (like the publisher, the number of… Continue Reading »


“An elegant collection of enigmas”

“You have not the Book of Riddles about you, have you?” So Slender asks Simple in Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. Riddles have been around since ancient times, and are present in many cultures: from Babylonian and Sanksrit texts, to Norse and Anglo-Saxon kennings, to Yoruba and Bantu oral traditions. As early as the sixteenth century, riddles… Continue Reading »


Would you buy a used car from William Shakespeare? How about mustard?

Would you buy a bicycle if William Shakespeare sold it to you? How about trading up to a Cadillac? Over the years, advertisers have counted on the novelty of Shakespeare, and his memorable characters, to sell their products. The brochure on the right parallels the literary achievement of Shakespeare with the automotive achievement of the… Continue Reading »


Page 1 of 212