For immediate release | July 22, 2014

Apply to host Shakespeare’s 1623 ‘First Folio’ in traveling exhibition

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in collaboration with the Folger Shakespeare Library and Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC), is accepting applications for the traveling exhibition Shakespeare and His First Folio. The application deadline is Sept. 5.

The exhibition — part of the international events planned for 2016 in observance of the 400th anniversary of William 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.

The opportunity is open to public, academic and special libraries, small museums, colleges and universities, historical societies and other cultural venues. Full guidelines and an online application are available at

Each host institution must have a suitable space in which to display the First Folio and exhibition and meet environmental and security requirements. (Environmental and security conditions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis; all are encouraged to apply. Questions or concerns about these requirements should be directed to 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.

Shakespeare and His First Folio is made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

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." Multiple copies of this original edition, each accompanied by six interpretive panels, will tour the nation as the exhibition Shakespeare and His First Folio, providing hundreds of thousands of visitors with a rare opportunity to view this important book in their own community.

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.

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 — theater, music, poetry, exhibits, lectures and family programs. A gift to the American people from industrialist Henry Clay Folger, the Folger Shakespeare Library – located one block east of the U.S. Capitol – opened in 1932. Learn more at

Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminalwhich is designing and fabricating the exhibitry for Shakespeare and His First Folio and managing the folios’ travels throughout the tour is a nationally recognized institution as well as national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, Museum Center was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Organizations within Cincinnati Museum Center include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. Learn more at

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


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office (PPO)