Photo credit: Peter Ringenberg; First Folio! at the University of Notre Dame
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the Folger Shakespeare Library sent First Folios to all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC. This exhibition celebrates their return to the Folger, and is the largest ever display of First Folios in a single venue.
Seventy-one thousand miles later, and safely back in the Folger’s Great Hall, the eighteen traveling copies of the First Folio (and one understudy), the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, tell their stories–of the half million people they met, the programming to celebrate their visits, the unique attributes of each book, and the overwhelming relevance of the plays they include.
Explore the First Folios Online!
Use the left-hand navigation to learn about a Folio and view highlights from its travels or find the Folio that was closest to you by viewing all the tour stops below.
Meet the Curators
Heather Wolfe is curator of manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She has curated numerous Folger exhibitions, most recently Shakespeare, Life of an Icon, and has written widely on early modern manuscripts and the intersections between print and manuscript. She has edited The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608 (2007), The Literary Career and Legacy of Elizabeth Cary (2007), and Letterwriting in Renaissance England (2004), an exhibition catalog co-written with Alan Stewart. She is principal investigator for EMMO (Early Modern Manuscripts Online), a project to create a free and searchable database of images and transcriptions of early modern manuscripts created in England or written in English.
Caroline Duroselle-Melish is the Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Early Modern Books and Prints at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She has worked with a wide range of collections in university and independent rare book libraries, including serving as Rare Book Librarian at the University of Rochester and, most recently, as Assistant Curator at the Houghton Library, Harvard University. She has published on a range of topics associated with early modern printing, including studies of Ulisse Aldrovandi’s library and the trade relations between Frankfurt and Bologna.
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the Folger Shakespeare Library sent First Folios to all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC.