First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare

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First Folio! The Book that Gave us Shakespeare, one of the Exhibitions at the Folger, opened January 4, 2016 and closed January 2, 2017 . First Folio! was a traveling exhibition that was part of The Wonder of Will: 400 Years of Shakespeare 2016 commemoration of Shakespeare's death.

A national U.S. tour of First Folios traveled to 50 States and 3 territories. Published in 1623, the First Folio collection of Shakespeare's plays is the book that introduced Shakespeare to the world and allowed his works to travel far beyond the confines of Renaissance London. Individual copies of this precious book, which is the hallmark of the Folger's collection, were sent to libraries across the country with an accompanying interpretive exhibition. Theatrical performances and educational initiatives clustered around the First Folio in local schools and theaters, providing a truly rich experience for those who saw this historic book and wished to learn more about the Bard.

For more information on this past exhibition and related events, please visit

Tour Archives

Extent: 7 boxes, 2 oversize items

Abstract: During the "First Folio!" tour, Folger staff and collaborators collected a wide variety of ephemera associated with the project from all fifty states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The collection is mostly made up of print publicity and exhibitions material from the host sites, but also includes pin-back buttons, local newspaper clippings, clothing and other souvenirs, and even a parasol from the Jazz Funeral held in honor of Shakespeare in New Orleans.

Date: 2015-2017 (bulk 2016)

Creator: Folger Shakespeare Library and "First Folio!" tour partners
Language of Materials: English and Spanish

Contact Information:
Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003

Preferred Citation:
[Item title and date], First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare Tour Archives, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC.

Conditions Governing Use:
Copyright is retained by the authors, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Collection is open for research. For information about applying for a Reader Card see:


Series 1: Printed materials (4 boxes), arranged alphabetically by state, district, or territory.
1.1: Alabama-Kansas
1.2: Kentucky-New Mexico
1.3: Nevada-Wyoming
1.4: Oversize

Series 2: Non-print ephemera (2 boxes, 2 oversize items):
2.1 : T-shirts, various.
2.2: Miscellaneous souvenirs
2.3: Yard sign
2.4: Parasol

Series 3: Teaching Folio (1 box):
A blank text block chiefly meant to show binding techniques. Displayed at the Arizona State Museum and at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Bound by Panther Peak Bindery in Tucson, AZ. Includes some braille text.