Monday, December 5, 2016

Seeing Shakespeare's First Folio

The Folger Library in Washington DC, in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, has curated a series of traveling exhibits.  Called "The Wonder of Will", the highlight of this traveling display is the copy of one of the First Folios from the Folger Library's collection.  There are several, informative and introductory, displays giving an overview of William Shakespeare, his writing, and the impact of his work on the world.  Also included is a short video about the founding of the Folger Shakespeare Library and its namesakes - Henry Clay Folger and Emily Jordan Folger.  The tour is currently making stops in all 50 US states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, and locations include historical societies, museums, schools, and a theater.  A nearby university was selected as a stop on the tour, and I couldn't resist stopping by and paying a visit.

The specific site for the exhibit was the second floor of the main library on campus.  After getting a visitor pass, I entered the main room and was surrounded by banners and the historical document, guarded by a rather friendly private security guard.  Here are some highlights from the displays:

Digital reproduction of a First Folio on a touchscreen that users can swipe to turn the pages


Could you imagine if these works had been lost to history?  

First Folio is opened to Hamlet's iconic "To Be or Not to Be" soliloquy

Is the First Folio tour stopping at a place near you?  Check it out here.

Librorum annis