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Shakespeare to be or not to be at the High Library

1623 First Folio coming to the High Library in 2016

1623 First Folio coming to the High Library in 2016

Shakespeare’s First Folio Exhibition in 2016

Zounds!  The High Library has been selected as the ONLY site in Pennsylvania that will host First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare, a national traveling exhibition of the Shakespeare First Folio, one of the world’s most treasured books.  The Folger Shakespeare Library, in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is touring a First Folio of Shakespeare in 2016 to all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

  • Why 2016?  Next year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
  • When will the First Folio arrive on campus?  The First Folio will be on display in the Hess Archives for a four-week period in Fall 2016.  (The Folger will announce the specific touring dates in April.)
  • What else will the exhibition include?  The First Folio’s pages will be opened to the most quoted line from Shakespeare, “to be or not to be” from Hamlet.  The exhibition will also include several panels that explore the significance of Shakespeare, then and now, with additional digital content and interactive activities.  Finally, the High Library will partner with various departments, offices, and affiliates — like the Elizabethtown Public Library — to offer numerous programs and events for the campus and the surrounding community.  Stay tuned for more details!
  • Why is the First Folio important?  Many of Shakespeare’s plays, which were written to be performed, were not published during his lifetime.  The First Folio is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays.  It was published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death.  Two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors compiled 36 of his plays, hoping to preserve them for future generations.  Without it, we would not have 18 of Shakespeare’s plays, including MacBeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, and As You Like It.  All 18 appear for the first time in print in the First Folio, and would otherwise have been lost.
  • How can I help?  Thank you for your interest in the First Folio Exhibition!  If you have programming ideas, general suggestions, or questions, please contact Louise Hyder-Darlington (hyderl@etown.edu) or Sarah Penniman (pennimans@etown.edu).

First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities (Exploring the Human Endeavor), and by the generous support of Google.org and Vinton and Sigrid Cerf.  Sponsorship opportunities of this major exhibition and the Folger’s other Wonder of Will programs commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death are available.  Learn more at www.folger.edu.

About Folger Shakespeare Library

Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-renowned center for scholarship, learning, culture, and the arts.  It is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and a primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period (1500-1750).  The Folger is an internationally recognized research library offering advanced scholarly programs in the humanities; an innovator in the preservation of rare materials; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K-12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs–theatre, music, poetry, exhibits, lectures and family programs.  Learn more at www.folger.edu.

About Cincinnati Museum Center

Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark.  Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012.  CMC is one of only 16 museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource.  Union Terminal has been voted the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects.  Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and Cincinnati History Library & Archives.  Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually.  For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries.  The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. ALA’s Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help thousands of librarians nationwide develop and host cultural programs for adult, young adult and family audiences.  The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to promote cultural programming as an essential part of library service in all types of libraries.  Projects include book and film discussion series, literary and cultural programs featuring authors and artists, professional development opportunities and traveling exhibitions.  School, public, academic and special libraries nationwide benefit from the office’s programming initiatives.  Additional information can be found at www.ala.org/programming.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.  Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.

Image from the First Folio of Shakespeare. Credit: Shakespeare First Folio, 1623. Folger Shakespeare Library.
For a complete list of the recipients, check out the following Washington Post article