We Get Comments: The Folger Manuscript

Josiah has a couple of questions:
I saw a reproduction of one of the pages in Fred Gettings Dictionary of Demons embellished with some lemegeton semions. I wondered if they had been added as some sort of editorial embellishment or if one of the later owners added them.
We’ve noticed this, and we’re not sure what’s going on, as they’re not in the original.  To me, it does appear that these were added later, especially as they seem to have little or nothing to do with the text.  Also, I’m no expert on manuscripts, but it appears the margins are much larger on the version Gettings reproduces.  We’d appreciate any insight readers can provide.
I tried to order a CD of the pages but the Folger tells me the cost would be in the $4,000 neighborhood to burn a CD (which seems a bit extreme in view of the actual cost of burning already scanned images to a cd)…   Please don’t take offence, on a personal note I’d like to ask if you sprang for the cost as quoted by the Folger or found aless costly way to obtain the pages?
Given that the pages are all available online through their website, it seems that the Folger is routing people who want to view these through there.  The system’s set up so you can’t download large-scale pictures, but you can at least look at them.
The scanning prices are high, but I think they generally are for special collections.  You might look at the Folger price list and choose a less expensive option – for example, looking at black and white or microfilm copies.
I usually work from a PDF I made at the Folger by sitting down with their microfilm version of Part 1, cranking up the resolution, and physically scanning each page into the file.  It’s actually a very good scan, and I can blow it up to 400% resolution before it becomes grainy.   As this is black and white, the red text is often faded, but in that case I go back to the website to double-check it.   Traveling to DC and accessing the Folger isn’t an option for most people, but shifting to black and white text reproductions might be a good start for cutting down expenses.
That’s all for now.
Published in: on September 18, 2010 at 10:23 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. Mr. Harms,

    Just a follow up on the folger. It seems my problem lay with Microsoft’s browser. I switched to Firefox and was able not only to view the folger ms but to enlarge the pages and copy them to my paint app. as jpgs. It was a bit of a deathmarch but at least I can examine the pages in greater detail.

    I think the Folger’s notes are somewhat overstated and they missed important details. I find no actual association with the Lemegeton, however some of the material was copied from ps-agrippa’s Fourth Book, specifically ps-d’abano’s Heptameron as well as Agrippa’s Three Books… That being the case I think the dates ascribed to the ms are more or less in the ballpark (1577-1583) the original scribe used one the the three 16th cent. editions of Agrippa’s spurious work as well as one the 16th cent. editions of Agrippa’s de Occulta published prior to Zetzner’s early 17th cent. issues of Agrippa’s “Opera”. I think a closer reading will reveal a lot more. The handwriting is particulary difficult to read.

    Good Luck,

    Josiah Bacon

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