First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare

First Folio! The book that gave us Shakespeare

Published just seven years after his death, Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies — now known as the “First Folio” — saved for posterity 18 of Shakespeare’s 38 plays, including "The Tempest," "Macbeth," "Twelfth Night" and "As You Like It."

In 2016, multiple copies of this original edition, accompanied by six interpretive panels, will tour the nation as the exhibition First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, providing hundreds of thousands of visitors with a rare opportunity to view this important book in their own community.

The exhibition — part of the international events planned for 2016 in observance of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death — will bring the 1623 original edition of the playwright’s first published collection to 53 sites: one site in all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each location will host the exhibition for four weeks.

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare is offered by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in collaboration with the Folger Shakespeare Library and Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC). The tour is made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

This opportunity is open to public, academic and special libraries, small museums, historical societies and other cultural venues. Applications were accepted through October 24, 2014.

Each host institution must have a suitable space in which to display the First Folio and exhibition and must meet environmental and security requirements. Selected sites will be asked to plan several related programs, including an opening event and programs for schoolteachers and families. The tour will launch in January 2016 and continue through the calendar year.

Read the full guidelines online.

Selected Sites

2016 National Tour Itinerary