R. Carter Hailey
This page reflects a scholar's association with the Folger Institute.
"The Shakespeare Papers: Paper Stocks of Shakespeare Folios, Quartos, and Octavos to 1640" (2009–2010)
While the texts of the early Shakespeare quartos and folios have been analyzed repeatedly, scant attention has been paid to their paper stocks. I have begun to redress this imbalance in a pair of recent articles which, using my "mugshot and fingerprint" method and examples from Shakespeare quartos, demonstrate that paper can be used to date early imprints that lack title page dates, and that analyses of paper stocks can give new insights into the complex matrix of printing house production. A book-length project, On Paper, which explains this methodology, will be published next summer .
I now propose to continue my work on Shakespearean papers by undertaking a long-term study to catalog and analyze the paper stocks in all editions of Shakespeare folios, quartos, and octavos up to 1640, with the primary goal of producing a publicly accessible digital catalog and searchable database of The Shakespeare Papers. The initial phase of the project is to collect data for the paper stocks of the First Folio. Here the Folger collections are crucial, since a thorough examination of at least a dozen Folios will be necessary to provide a conspectus of the Folio paper stocks. I will then proceed to collect paper data from the Folger's ninety or so Shakespearean quarto and octavo editions, and produce one-page illustrated catalog entries for each watermark pair encountered. Additional products of the project will include a major article on "Shakespeare's Papers" commissioned for a new edition of OUP's William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion and ultimately, a print catalog and accompanying analytical monograph.
“The Shakespeare Papers” (2010–2011)