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Decade VII: 1992-2001

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Decade VII: 1992-2001



1992

The Folger celebrates its diamond jubilee year with a presentation at the White House hosted by President and Mrs. George Bush.

 

Launch of The Jubilee Campaign, "To Turn a Page Anew," with a goal of more than $20 million to be raised over three years.

 

New Folger Library Shakespeare paperback series, edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine in light of contemporary trends in Shakespearean criticism, begins publication with The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet.

 

New World of Wonders exhibition, underwritten by an NEH grant, commemorates the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in America.


1993

In the largest philanthropic award to the Folger to date, a multiyear $2.5 million grant from the Lila Wallace–Reader's Digest Fund supports expanded outreach programs; renovation of public facilities, including improved disabled access; and creation of the Shakespeare Gallery, an interactive exhibition area for visitors.

 

Publication of Shakespeare Set Free: Teaching Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a teaching guide begun at the 1988 and 1989 Teaching Shakespeare Institute summer sessions; two other books in the series follow.

 

Organized to encourage the study of Shakespeare, the Capitol Hill Shakespeare Partnership joins the Folger with two nearby schools: Stuart Hobson Middle School, of the DC public school system, and Capitol Hill Day School, a private school.


1994

Library begins retrospective conversion of card catalog in preparation for an integrated library system, including an on-line catalog.

 

Electrical fire in Elizabethan Theatre destroys original sky canopy and causes other damage.

 

Donation from Mary P. Massey of her collection of more than 300 rare, early herbals.


1995

First direct Folger access to the Internet.

 

Festive Renaissance exhibition celebrates more than two decades of donations by Mrs. H. Dunscombe Colt of early modern festival books commemorating royal births, pageants, tournaments, funerals, and other occasions.


1996

In-house debut of the library’s on-line catalog, Hamnet, named after Shakespeare's only son, who died in 1596 at the age of eleven.

 

The Folger launches its first website.

 

In partnership with donor Dorothy Rouse-Bottom, the Folger acquires a major manuscript collection from the Hulton Papers, including one of the earl of Leicester’s last letters to Elizabeth I, along with a letter by the earl of Essex and twenty letters by Henry Rich, earl of Holland.

 

Arrival of the first installment of the late Babette Craven's collection of theatrical memorabilia, a major donation of the 1990s that includes paintings, manuscripts, porcelain figures, and other records of theater history.


1997

At a White House gathering, First Lady Hillary Clinton celebrates the Folger's sixty-fifth anniversary.

 

Funding from NEH and the Mellon Foundation makes possible the most ambitious cataloging project in the history of the library to date, a multiyear effort to create online records for tens of thousands of early English books.

 

In a new theater initiative, the Folger Theatre presents Romeo and Juliet. The production wins three Helen Hayes Awards.

 

Shakespeare Steps Out, a program to introduce Shakespeare to elementary-school children, begins in four DC public schools.


1998

Among other rarities, the Folger acquires one of seven extant copies of the first edition of Edmund Spenser’s The Shepheardes Calender (1579); the earliest Shakespeare play on film, an 1899 silent movie of King John; and, in a bequest from the late Francis T. P. Plimpton, the 1579 "sieve portrait" of Elizabeth I.

 

Teaching Shakespeare website launched, sharing ideas and updated lesson plans for teaching Shakespeare.

 

Taking as its theme "the bistros, booksellers, and Bohemians of Paris," the Spring Gala successfully breaks with Washington, DC, convention by presenting a roving black-tie affair with faux bistros and no formal dinner seating.


1999

Director Werner Gundersheimer announces $7.5 million campaign to support the growth of public programs endowments and the renovation of a building at 301 East Capitol Street to become the new education and public programs center.

 

Tea Room, Board Room, and kitchen undergo renovation.

 

Launch of the Seven Ages of Man multimedia interactive exhibition within the Shakespeare Gallery space. The exhibition includes more than 250 images of key objects from the Folger collection; Sir Derek Jacobi records the monologue of the same name, which greets visitors as they activate the display.


2000

Hamnet catalog becomes available to the public through the Folger website.

 

Wyatt R. and Susan N. Haskell Center for Education and Public Programs opens at 301 East Capitol Street. The same year, the Folger's educational programs win the Washington, DC, Mayor's Art Award.

 

With partial funding from SOS! (Save Outdoor Sculpture!), restoration work begins on the outdoor marble sculpture of Puck by Brenda Putnam commissioned for the opening of the library in 1932.

 

The Folger collaborates with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other institutions to create the Shakespeare Electronic Archive; this effort includes a Hamlet on the Ramparts website complete with film clips from historic productions, facsimile pages, sketches, and paintings.


2001

After four years of work, 50,000 additional records of English books printed between 1475 and 1700 are brought online in a database accessible through the Hamnet catalog. In a separate development, selected digital facsimile pages from several items in the Folger's collection become available online as well.

 

Folger Consort and the Folger Institute collaborate in the production of John Milton’s masque Comus, an effort resulting in a two-day scholarly conference and multiple performances in the Elizabethan Theatre.

 

Folger Shakespeare Library remains open on Capitol Hill in the week after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon.

 



La joyeuse & Magnifique Entree de Monseigneur Francoys, Fils de France, et Frere Unicquue du Roy.Antwerp, 1582.









The Haskell Center



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