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Folger Shakespeare Library Presents Rare Book Collection of Stuart and Mimi Rose in New Special Exhibitions Gallery

Press release: June 13, 2024 — Washington, DC

The Folger Shakespeare Library announced today the details of Imprints in Time, the inaugural show in the new special exhibitions gallery situated in one of the two public exhibition halls added to the Folger during its 4-year renovation. Drawn entirely from the peerless collection of Dayton, OH based collectors Stuart and Mimi Rose, Imprints in Time offers a chance to see a curated display of books and manuscripts that document some of the greatest achievements of writing and creativity across many centuries.

Stuart Rose is a widely regarded collector of rare books and manuscripts, and the 52 works on display at the Folger represent the breadth of his collection, covering topics including science, religion, philosophy, literature, and history. Among the works that visitors will encounter are an Egyptian Book of the Dead from the first century BCE; a first edition of Nicolaus Copernicus’ De revolutionibus (1543), which first proposed the heliocentric view of our planetary system; a first edition of the most notorious banned book of the 17th century—Galileo Galilei’s Dialogo, which defended Copernicus’ view of the solar system and was inscribed by Galileo himself; a first trade edition of Winnie-the-Pooh, inscribed by author A. A. Milne to his son; J.R.R. Tolkien’s page proofs, corrected in his hand, for The Lord of the Rings; an advance press copy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech; and a section of the Apollo 11 flight plan that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had with them on the Moon.

“We wanted to recreate the feeling of being in Stuart and Mimi’s library for this exhibition,” said Greg Prickman, the Eric Weinmann Librarian and Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Folger. Prickman, who curated the exhibition, explained, “To stand in Stuart and Mimi Rose’s private library is electric. An immense range of time periods and topics are all around you, and each object you encounter feels more incredible than the last. So as a part of transferring that experience to the Folger, we wanted to enable each visitor to choose their own path. Each work showcased offers visitors the opportunity to connect with people and places across many eras of human history.”

The gallery walls are adorned with bespoke wallpaper that illustrates some of the authors on view in the exhibition. A companion digital guide hosted at offers a path for making connections between objects for those who prefer that experience. Both were produced by Studio A. Details about each object are available in a full-color exhibition guide that Stuart and Mimi Rose have made freely available to all visitors. A fully illustrated 272-page catalog offers provenance details and overviews of each work featured in the exhibition. The catalog is available in the Folger Shop and at

Stuart Rose served on the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Board of Governors for 10 years. He was a staunch advocate for adding as much space as possible in which to display the Folger’s vast collection of early modern European materials. In recognition of his advocacy and support of the renovation project, the hall in which the special exhibitions gallery is located bears his name: The Stuart and Mimi Rose Rare Book and Manuscript Exhibition Hall. In addition to the gallery for special exhibitions, the Rose Hall includes a gallery for smaller, focused exhibitions and a gallery where signature objects from the Folger’s collection can be viewed.

“Stuart maintains that books and manuscripts need to be seen and experienced in order to be enjoyed,” said Folger Director Michael Witmore. “He understood what showcasing the Folger’s collection would mean for public access, and through his generosity, everyone who passes through the Folger’s doors will be able to see a range of items from the Folger’s collection. And in these first months we are open, visitors will also be able to take in the magnificent items in the collection that Stuart and Mimi built.”

Imprints in Time is on view at the Folger through January 5, 2025. Following it will be Power Players, an exhibition that will show how becoming a mover and shaker was a competitive sport in Tudor England. Power Players will invite visitors into a world of lace ruffs, jousting, bad handwriting, scandal, strategic friendships, and more, weaving together a narrative built from items in the Folger’s collection. That exhibition is a part of the Folger’s 2024-2025 Season, Whose Democracy? and will be on view from February 1, 2025 through July 31, 2025.

About Folger Shakespeare Library

The Folger Shakespeare Library makes Shakespeare’s stories and the world in which he lived accessible. Anchored by the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger is a place where curiosity and creativity are embraced and conversation is always encouraged. Visitors to the Folger can choose how they want to experience the arts and humanities, from interactive exhibitions to captivating performances, and from pathbreaking research to transformative educational programming. The Folger welcomes everyone to connect in their own way—from communities throughout Washington DC to communities across the globe. Learn more at

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