The University of Wisconsin–Madison has been selected as the host site for the state of Wisconsin for 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 association with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is touring a First Folio of Shakespeare in 2016 to all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.
The Chazen Museum of Art met the exacting facility standards required to exhibit the folio. The Chazen and the UW–Madison Libraries partnered to bring the exhibition to Madison.
The First Folio, published in 1623, is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, many of which were not published during his lifetime. Two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors compiled thirty-six of his plays to preserve them for future generations. Without their efforts, the world may have never known eighteen of these plays, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, and As You Like It.
When displayed, the First Folio will be opened to the one of the most-quoted lines in the world, “To be or not to be,” from Hamlet. Accompanying the rare book will be a multi-panel exhibit exploring the significance of Shakespeare, then and now, with additional artifacts from various UW collections. Throughout 2016, UW-Madison, in coordination with partners throughout the state, is planning a variety of programs for the public.
“Shakespeare tells the human story like no one else. He connects us to each other, to our history, and to themes and ideas that touch us every day,” said Michael Witmore, Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, and a former UW–Madison faculty member. “We are delighted that we can share this precious resource with people everywhere, from San Diego, California to Gurabo, Puerto Rico, from Eugene, Oregon to Duluth, Minnesota.”
First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and by the support of Google.org, Vinton and Sigrid Cerf, and other generous donors.
The UW–Madison campus libraries are as diverse as the campus itself and range in size from small reading rooms with a few hundred books to major research collections containing several million titles in multiple formats. The UW-Madison Libraries has a copy of Shakespeare’s Second Folio and an extensive collection of editions, documents and publications related to the playwright. Visit www.library.wisc.edu for more information.
IMAGE: Title page with Droeshout engraving of Shakespeare. Shakespeare First Folio, 1623. Folger Shakespeare Library.
About Folger Shakespeare Library
Folger Shakespeare Library is the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the ultimate resource for exploring Shakespeare and his world. The Folger welcomes millions of visitors online and in person. We provide unparalleled access to a huge array of resources, from original sources to modern interpretations. With the Folger, you can experience the power of performance, the wonder of exhibitions, and the excitement of pathbreaking research. We offer the opportunity to see and even work with early modern sources, driving discovery and transforming education for students of all ages. Shakespeare belongs to you. His world is vast. Come explore. Join us online, on the road, or in Washington, DC. 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