Shakespeare's First Folio to visit UofSC in April 2016

The University of South Carolina, recently named as South Carolina’s site for the “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare” national tour, will host the exhibition April 11-May 1, 2016.

“This is an important opportunity for the university community and for people from across the region to see one of the most important books in the world first hand and to learn about its significance,” said Elizabeth Sudduth, director of the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at UofSC. “It is a privilege to have been selected to host the traveling exhibition and to have the chance to exhibit related treasures from the collections.”

The First Folio  the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s works published in 1623 that includes 36 of his plays, including “The Tempest,” “Macbeth” and “As You Like It” — will visit all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, beginning in January 2016. A full list tour dates is available on the Folger Shakespeare Library website.

The University of South Carolina was chosen as the only display site in South Carolina. When the First Folio arrives in Columbia, its pages will be opened to the most-quoted line from Shakespeare, “to be or not to be,” from “Hamlet.” Accompanying the book will be a multipanel exhibition exploring the significance of Shakespeare with digital content and interactive activities.

The University of South Carolina Libraries will use the exhibit as a chance to showcase its holdings of the works of Shakespeare and works related to his life and time. The exhibition will be on display in the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library on the UofSC campus and open to the public for three weeks.

Among the events planned at Carolina are an exhibition of materials from the university’s special collections, theatrical performances, lectures by prominent Shakespeare scholars and opportunities for classes and groups from the community to see these treasures firsthand.

“We plan to offer diverse activities related to the First Folio so that all ages and experience levels with Shakespeare can enjoy this fantastic opportunity,” said Tom McNally, dean of University Libraries.  “And we are especially pleased to host the exhibition during the month in which we will commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s passing.”  

The exhibition includes one copy of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s work and supplementary materials supplied by the Folger Shakespeare Library. It is part of an international commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and it is expected to provide hundreds of thousands of visitors across the country with the rare opportunity to view the book.

“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 and Vinton and Sigrid Cerf. Opportunities are available to sponsor this major exhibition and the Folger’s other “Wonder of Will” programs commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. 

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  

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. For more information, visit

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

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

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