Texas A&M to Host Shakespeare’s First Folio Exhibition in Spring 2016

By Marketing and Communications | 08-06-2015

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The national traveling exhibition, First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, will visit Texas A&M University March 7, 2016 through April 3, 2016. The Folger Shakespeare Library, in partnership with the Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is touring a First Folio of Shakespeare in 2016 to all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. Texas A&M’s application to host the exhibition was a collaborative effort between the Texas A&M University Libraries, the Department of English, the World Shakespeare Bibliography, and the J. Wayne Stark Galleries.

“We are honored and overjoyed to have been selected as the host institution in Texas,” said Kevin O’Sullivan, Outreach and Public Services Curator at Cushing Memorial Library & Archives. “We look forward to offering a full program of lectures, exhibitions, and performances to coincide with the First Folio’s visit.”

When the First Folio arrives in College Station, it will be on display at the J. Wayne Stark Galleries located in the Memorial Student Center, with its pages opened to the most quoted line from Shakespeare and one of the most quoted lines in the world, “to be or not to be” from Hamlet. Accompanying the rare book will be a multi-panel exhibition exploring the significance of Shakespeare, then and now, with additional digital content and interactive activities. During the exhibition, Texas A&M will host numerous programs around the First Folio exhibition for the general public to attend, including a lecture featuring Dr. James S. Shapiro, a renowned Columbia University professor of English and Comparative Literature who specializes in Shakespeare and the Early Modern period, March 30, 2016, at the MSC.

A few other programs scheduled include a lecture event with Dr. Douglas S. Bruster, from The University of Texas at Austin, March 22, 2016, at LAAH 453; and performances from Austin Shakespeare Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, tentatively scheduled for March 28, 2016, and Hidden Room Theatre’s Das Brudermord, or Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, tentatively scheduled for March 31, 2016. Locations for both performances are to be determined, and will be announced closer to the tentatively scheduled dates. An updated list of lecture events, performance events, educational events, and a list of spring semester film series will be released close to spring 2016.

Cushing Library will draw upon its rich Rare Book and Literature collections with a full-scale exhibition devoted to the works of the Early Modern period. This exhibition will coincide with the First Folio exhibition in spring 2016, and will focus on the authorship, editing, publication, and distribution of works by such notable figures as William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, John Donne, and their many contemporaries.

Many of Shakespeare's plays, which were written to be performed, were not published during his lifetime. The First Folio is 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, 18 of Shakespeare’s plays would have been lost and forgotten, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, and As You Like It. All 18 appear for the first time in print in the First Folio, and would otherwise have been lost.

“The First Folio is the book that gave us Shakespeare,” said Michael Witmore, Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. “Between its covers we discover his most famous characters — Hamlet, Desdemona, Cordelia, Macbeth, Romeo, Juliet and hundreds of others — speaking words that continue to move and inspire us. Shakespeare tells the human story like no one else. He connects us to each other, to our history, and to themes and ideas that touch us every day. We are delighted that we can share this precious resource with people everywhere, from San Diego, California to Gurabo, Puerto Rico, from Eugene, Oregon to Duluth, Minnesota.”


For more information, contact Kevin M. O’Sullivan, Outreach and Public Services Curator at Cushing Memorial Library & Archives; kmosullivan@library.tamu.edu or 979-845-195.

More Information about the Partnership Organizations

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and by the generous support of Google.org and Vinton and Sigrid Cerf. Sponsorship opportunities of this major exhibition and the Folger’s other Wonder of Will programs commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death are available. Learn more at www.folger.edu.

About Folger Shakespeare Library
Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-renowned center for scholarship, learning, culture, and the arts. It is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and a primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period (1500-1750). The Folger is an internationally recognized research library offering advanced scholarly programs in the humanities; an innovator in the preservation of rare materials; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K–12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs — theatre, music, poetry, exhibits, lectures and family programs. Learn more at www.folger.edu.

About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of only 16 museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation's 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually. 

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

ALA’s Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help thousands of librarians nationwide develop and host cultural programs for adult, young adult and family audiences. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to promote cultural programming as an essential part of library service in all types of libraries. Projects include book and film discussion series, literary and cultural programs featuring authors and artists, professional development opportunities and traveling exhibitions. School, public, academic and special libraries nationwide benefit from the office’s programming initiatives.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.