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Decade I: 1932-41

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Decade I: 1932-41



1932

Folger Shakespeare Library dedicated on April 23, the traditional date of Shakespeare’s birthday. President Herbert Hoover attends; Emily Folger presents the key to the building to the Amherst trustees; Joseph Quincy Adams delivers the first annual Shakespeare's Birthday lecture, “Shakespeare and American Culture.”

 

Emily Folger awarded honorary doctorate by Amherst College.


1933

Reading Room made regularly open to accredited scholars.


1934

The Folger observes the 370th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birthday with a musical program broadcast to a nationwide radio audience.

 

William Slade returns to the Library of Congress; Joseph Quincy Adams becomes acting director.


1935

Trustees establish two annual fellowships available to “young scholars of unusual promise in the field of Elizabethan research.”

 

Library initiates first card catalog of its books under the direction of chief bibliographer, E. E. Willoughby.


1936

Emily Folger dies at age 77 on February 21, 1936.

 

Joseph Quincy Adams is appointed director.

 

A facsimile of the Folger's unique first quarto of Titus Andronicus (1594) is the library's first scholarly publication. Between 1936 and 1941, a total of six facsimile volumes are published, including copies of The Passionate Pilgrim (1599) and The Ghost of Lucrece (1600).

 

To foster social and scholarly dialogue, the Folger begins serving afternoon tea to staff and visiting researchers. At first, tea is in the Founders' Room; later, it moves to the separate Tea Room.


1938

The Folger purchases the collection of the late Sir Robert Leicester Harmsworth, comprising more than 8,000 rare books printed in England between 1475 and 1640. Together with later acquisitions of Continental material, the Harmsworth purchase expands the Folger's focus beyond Shakespeare studies to include virtually all aspects of the early modern world.

 

In the first of several purchases from the manuscript collection at England's Loseley Hall, the Folger acquires the official records of Sir Thomas Cawarden, Master of the Revels for Henry VIII, Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey, Mary I, and the young Elizabeth I.


1939

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the invention of printing in the West, some of the collection's earliest books are placed on display.

 
President Hoover and George Arthur Plimpton at the dedication of the Folger. Photograph, 23 April 1932



Joseph Quincy Adams



Shakespeare. Titus Andronicus. London, 1594



Harmsworth Collection telegram



Chaucer. Canterbury tales. Westminster, 1477





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