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The Old Globe and the San Diego Public Library were selected last year to co-host the only stop in California for First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, a national traveling exhibition organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Produced in association with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library offers a rare glimpse of the Shakespeare First Folio, one of the world’s most significant books, as it visits all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. The treasured volume will be on display free-of-charge to the public at the San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common from June 4 through July 7, 2016.
In addition, The Old Globe and the San Diego Pubic Library—in partnership with the University of California San Diego, the University of San Diego, San Diego State University, the San Diego Public Library Foundation, and media partner KPBS—have announced a spring and summer schedule of free Shakespeare-related programs for children, adults, and families. Click here to see the entire schedule of events.
When it arrives in San Diego, the First Folio will be opened to the most quoted line from Shakespeare and one of the most quoted lines in the world: Hamlet’s “To be or not to be.” Accompanying the rare book will be a multi-panel exhibition exploring the significance of Shakespeare then and now, as well as the importance of the First Folio. A supplemental exhibition will showcase original props, costumes, photographs, and ephemera from The Old Globe’s 80-year archive and the Darlene Gould Davies Old Globe Theatre Collection, with a focus on the productions of Shakespeare that have made the Globe one of the most important Shakespeare theatres in North America. The exhibition will be located at the San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common in the Art Gallery on the 9th floor. Exhibit hours are Monday – Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; and Sunday 12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. It will be free and open to the public, but due to its popularity, tickets are highly recommended and will be available on FirstFolioSanDiego2016.org. Visitors to the library will also have the opportunity to see rare and exquisite editions of works by and about Shakespeare from the San Diego Public Library’s collection on display in the Hervey Family Rare Book Room adjacent to the Art Gallery.
Over 50 associated events will celebrate the visit of the First Folio. For information about event details, ticket availability, and RSVP procedures, please click here for the press release or visit FirstFolioSanDiego2016.org.
Many of Shakespeare’s plays, which were written to be performed, were not published during his lifetime. The First Folio was the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. It was published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death. Two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors compiled 36 of his plays, hoping to preserve them for future generations. Without it, we would not have 18 of Shakespeare’s plays, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, and As You Like It. All 18 appeared for the first time in print in the First Folio and would otherwise have been lost.
The Folger Shakespeare Library holds 82 copies of the First Folio, by far the largest collection in the world and more than a third of the 233 known copies in the world today. It is believed that 750 copies were originally printed.
First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and by the support of Google.org, Vinton and Sigrid Cerf, the British Council, and other generous donors. Supporters of the San Diego exhibition of First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library and associated programming include Diane and John Berol, David C. Copley Foundation, and United.