The University Museums of the University of Delaware has been selected as a host site for the First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare national tour in 2016.

Shakespeare's works

UD named as a site for Shakespeare First Folio national tour in 2016


11:48 a.m., March 2, 2015--The University Museums of the University of Delaware has been selected as a host site for the First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare national tour in 2016 to mark the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death. 

The First Folio is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays and was published in 1623 by a London syndicate headed by Edward Blount and Isaac Jaggard, whose father William Jaggard printed it at his London printing shop. 

Campus Stories

From graduates, faculty

As it neared time for the processional to open the University of Delaware Commencement ceremonies, graduating students and faculty members shared their feelings about what the event means to them.

Doctoral hooding

It was a day of triumph, cheers and collective relief as more than 160 students from 21 nations participated in the University of Delaware's Doctoral Hooding Convocation held Friday morning on The Green.

Among the 18 plays first published in the First Folio are All’s Well That Ends Well, Anthony and Cleopatra, As You Like It, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Winter’s Tale

The itinerary for the tour, which includes host sites in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, will be announced in April. A two-hour First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare orientation webinar will be held in October. 

“I am delighted that University Museums has been selected as one of the host sites,” Janis Tomlinson, director of University Museums, said. “Given the strengths of the University in English and theatre, we will be able to examine the Folio from a variety of perspectives that is sure to engage a range of audiences.” 

Participating scholars at UD include Kristen E. Poole, professor of Renaissance literature and culture. In Philadelphia, Poole has been a regular speaker for local theatrical productions of Shakespeare and at the University of Delaware, she organized “Shakespeare First: A Celebration of the Arts,” a two-day Shakespeare festival that included a readings, a sonnet contest, a public lecture, student performances, and an opera concert. 

In addition to a public lecture or talk, Poole has proposed offering a seminar on Hamlet, to coincide with the exhibition.

Steve J. Tague, professor of theatre, brings extensive experience performing major roles in plays offered at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and the Great Lakes Theatre Festival, playing the lead role of Hamlet in both venues. 

Tague has proposed readings that demonstrate the influence of the First Folio on performance, addressing debates between those who believe its clues enhance performance, and others who dismiss this approach.  

Miranda Wilson, associate professor of English, has published articles on the blending of the plant and the human in Shakespeare’s works.  Wilson has engaged a broader public as a dramaturge, writer, and speaker for UD Resident Ensemble Players’ productions of Macbeth and Hamlet

Wilson has proposed several possible topics to contextualize the First Folio, including an introduction to William Herbert, a discussion of publishing in and around 1623 and an examination of that year in a historical context.

Julian Yates is an associate professor of English and material culture whose bibliography includes some 30 essays on Renaissance literature, culture, drama, William Shakespeare and other topics. Yates’ most recent book, What is the Worst Thing You Can Do To Shakespeare? co-authored with Richard Burt, examines the afterlife of Shakespeare’s works, with the first chapter focusing on the First Folio. 

About the tour

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare is a national traveling exhibition of the Shakespeare First Folio, one of the world’s most treasured books.

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, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

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 223 extant copies. It is believe that 750 copies were originally printed.

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 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. To learn more, visit this website

About the Folger Shakespeare Library

The 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 this website

About the Cincinnati Museum Center

The 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 and Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater and Cincinnati History Library and Archives. 

Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually. For more information, visit the CMC website

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. Additional information can be found at the ALA website

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 this website

Article by Jerry Rhodes

Image of Shakespeare First Folio, 1623, courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library

News Media Contact

University of Delaware
Communications and Public Affairs

UDaily is produced by
Communications and Public Affairs

The Academy Building
105 East Main Street
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716 | USA
Phone: (302) 831-2792