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Decade V: 1972-81

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Decade V: 1972-81


The Folger celebrates its 40th anniversary with two exhibitions on its own history and a conference, "The Widening Circle," on the interplay between religion and politics in sixteenth-century Europe.


Folger Shakespeare Library building enrolled in the National Register of Historic Places.


Publication of Shakespeare Quarterly transferred from the Shakespeare Association of America to the Folger.


Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provides the Folger with a separate, half-million-dollar endowment fund for general operating support.


Folger–British Academy Exchange Program begins, annually sending two American researchers to the United Kingdom and two British researchers to the Folger Shakespeare Library.


Start of the DC Schools Project, a cooperative endeavor between the Folger and the Washington, DC, public school system to develop methods and materials for teaching Shakespeare to inner-city students.


Earliest recorded purchase of one of Shakespeare’s works discovered by curator of manuscripts Laetitia Yeandle in the recently acquired diaries of Richard Stonley, an Elizabethan official; according to one entry, Stonley bought Venus and Adonis in 1593. In a separate literary development, researchers locate the long-lost Restoration comedy The Country Gentleman in the Folger's manuscript collection.


Items added to the Folger's collection during the past year are highlighted at the first of several Acquisitions Benefits.


The Folger hosts an international Petrarch congress. Among the highlights is an academic procession from the Folger to the US Capitol to celebrate the 633rd anniversary of the poet’s coronation as poet laureate on the Capitoline Hill in Rome.


Charlton Heston performs several readings from Shakespeare at the second Acquisitions Benefit.


Library acquires a copy of the rare first edition of Areopagitica; A Speech of Mr. John Milton For the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing . . . (1644) .


Lunchtime Midday Muse program begins, accommodating a growing number of poets and musical groups eager to appear at the Folger.


Friends of the Folger form the Collectors Club to encourage members with a special interest in rare books to contribute to the library's collection.


Shakespeare Film Archive established with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The archive later adds materials related more generally to the library's collection.


International Shakespeare Congress hosted by the Folger on the bicentennial theme "Shakespeare in America"; during the conference, Jorge Luis Borges delivers annual Shakespeare's Birthday lecture, "The Riddle of Shakespeare." Bicentennial exhibition, Shakespeare on the American Stage .


First restricted acquisitions endowment fund established by Mrs. H. Dunscombe Colt.


Publication of The Widening Circle: The Story of the Folger Shakespeare Library and Its Collections, an illustrated 76-page guide to the library, its history, its programs, and its collections by Betty Ann Kane.


Folger Consort, the Folger’s resident early modern music ensemble, opens its first season with the program “England: Chapel and Chamber Music, 1400–1600.”


In a major acquisition, the Folger purchases the Stickelberger collection of some 850 early Reformation books and pamphlets.


The Folger assumes responsibility for publication and distribution of books bearing its imprint, Folger Books; previously, most of the library's books were produced and marketed under copublishing arrangements.


Separate conservation fund established.


The Folger hosts its first annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Open House. On the preceding day, National Public Radio broadcasts a live concert by the Folger Consort; on the day of the open house, classical-music radio station WGMS hosts Shakespeare Fair on the Air, a fund-raiser benefiting the Folger Theatre Group and Consort.


Reading Room closes for renovation and expansion. During this period, the Folger arranges the first large-scale traveling exhibition of objects from its collection, Shakespeare: The Globe and the World, with an illustrated catalog of the same name by S. Schoenbaum. The show travels to seven cities in twenty-six months.


Folger Consort releases its first recording, Shakespeare’s Music, on the Delos label.


Emily Jordan Folger Children’s Shakespeare Festival established, starting an annual tradition that continues today. This first three-day festival includes scenes from Shakespeare performed by some 250 fourth, fifth, and sixth graders from eleven area schools.


The Folger starts a new fellowship program for high-school students in which sixteen students participate in small group discussions with eminent scholars and experience the Folger’s atmosphere and resources.


Reading Room reopens. Festivities include an open house and a speech by the archbishop of Canterbury at the April annual meeting of the Friends.


Dedication of the Patterson Conservation Laboratory and the Charles A. Dana Wing, a case-lined room outside the entrance to the vaults where rare and outstanding objects from the collection can be displayed.


The Folger's first Secondary School Shakespeare Festival, an outgrowth of the successful children's festival, takes place at Madeira School in McLean, Virginia.

Shakespeare: The Globe and the World

Acquisitions Night

Charlton Heston

Shakespeare's Birthday

Related Items

Shakespeare Quarterly Gail Kern Paster, Editor

Shakespeare's Birthday Open House

Children's Shakespeare Festival

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