Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 2, Page 28
Winter 1992
Shakespearean folio becomes library's 2 millionth volume
A second folio edition of William Shakespeare's plays published in
London in 1632 became the 2-millionth volume added to the University
of Delaware Library.
     The addition was celebrated Oct. 9 during a ceremony attended by
approximately 300 faculty, staff, students, alumni, University of
Delaware Library Associates and friends. Two other volumes also were
presented: the 1,999,999th volume, The Darker World Within: Evil in
the Tragedies of Shakespeare and His Successors, was presented by
Robert Taggart, president of the Faculty Senate; and the 2,000,0001st
addition, The Original Oxford English Dictionary on Compact Disc, was
presented by Robbie McAnnally, president of the Delaware Undergraduate
Student Congress.
     One of four collected editions of the complete plays of
Shakespeare published during the 17th century, the folio was bound in
red morocco in the late 19th century with silk end leaves and all
edges gilt. Although approximately 1,000 copies of this edition were
printed, fewer than 200 are known to exist today.
     Adding to the literary significance of the University's copy is
the first printed English poem by John Milton on one of the pages
following the title page. The unsigned "Epitaph on the admirable
Dramaticke Poet" was written while Milton was a student at Cambridge,
probably in 1630.
     The acquisition of the folio was made possible by gifts from
individuals and groups.