First Folio! Shakespeare's American Tour Exhibition Material

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This article offers label text as well as a comprehensive list of each piece included in First Folio! Shakespeare's American Tour, one of the Exhibitions at the Folger.

Introduction

First Folio! Shakespeare's American Tour

For the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 2016, the Folger Shakespeare Library embarked on one of our most logistically challenging projects ever. We sent an original 1623 First Folio – the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays – to all 50 states, as well as to Puerto Rico and Washington DC. This epic tour, First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare, began in January 2016 and ends in January 2017.

Folger curators selected 18 of the 82 First Folios in the Folger collection to go on tour. Safely back in the Great Hall after traveling 71,000 miles, the Folios tell their stories – of the half million people they met, the activities held in their honor, their unique attributes, and the lasting relevance of the plays they include.

The largest-ever display of First Folios in a single venue, First Folio! Shakespeare's American Tour is the capstone to an incredible year of The Wonder of Will, the Folger's celebration of Shakespeare and his enduring legacy.


#SHX400

First Folio! Shakespeare's American Tour is supported by the Winton and Carolyn Blount Exhibition Fund of the Folger Shakespeare Library. 

First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and by the support of Google.org, Vinton and Sigrid Cerf, British Council, Stuart and Mimi Rose, and supporters of The Wonder of Will: 400 Years of Shakespeare including The Lord Browne of Madingley, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Share Fund, and other generous donors.

A special thank you also goes out to the staff and volunteers at the 52 venues across the country that partnered with us for First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare. Thanks to your efforts, an unprecedented number of visitors were able to experience the First Folio "in the flesh" in their own communities.

What is a First Folio?

  • Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories & Tragedies is the true title of the collection of plays that scholars and Shakespeare fans fondly refer to as the First Folio.
  • The First Folio contains 36 of Shakespeare's plays and groups them into comedies, histories, and tragedies. 18 of these plays had never before been published and otherwise might have been lost, including favorites such as Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Twelfth Night.
  • The First Folio was printed in 1623, 7 years after Shakespeare's death in 1616. The First Folio was followed by the Second Folio in 1623, the Third Folio in 1664, and the Fourth Folio in 1685.
  • A folio is a large book made by folding sheets of paper (approximately 14 x 18 inches) in half, with each sheet forming 4 pages. This format was usually reserved for history, religion, and other weighty subjects.
  • The First Folio was the first folio-sized book ever published in England devoted exclusively to plays. Before 1623, about half of Shakespeare's plays were published in quartos – small books made from folding larger sheets of paper twice to create 8 pages per sheet. Quartos were like the easily disposable paperbacks of today, and very few of them survive.
  • No manuscript copies of the plays written in Shakespeare's handwriting have been found yet. Many people think, therefore, that the First Folio – compiled by his friends and fellow actors, John Heminges and Henry Condell, after his death – is the closest thing we have to the plays as he wrote them.
  • The title page includes the famous Droeshout portrait of Shakespeare, considered an accurate likeness by those who knew him.
  • Scholars think that about 750 copies of the First Folio were printed, which was a typical print run in the period. 235 First Folios are known to survive, including two discovered in 2016. The Folger Shakespeare Library has 82 copies.
  • Each copy of the First Folio is unique. Many small changes and corrections were made during the printing process, and over the years successive owners have rebound or otherwise tried to improve their copies.
  • See and touch a reproduction of First Folio #68 at the table in the center of the exhibition hall.

Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about the First Folios

Sophisticating the First Folio

The obsession with the First Folios in the 19th century led booksellers and collectors to create what are known as “sophisticated” or “made-up” folios. These consisted of incomplete folios that were “perfected” through the addition of pages from other incomplete First Folios or through the creation of printed or handwritten facsimile pages. 

All of the Folios selected for the tour are made-up copies, as are the vast majority of the 82 First Folios in the Folger vault. The stories of their incompleteness and their consequent “perfection” reveal the desire of earlier owners and collectors to own complete copies, and the lengths that booksellers would go to satisfy the demand.

Tour Map

In Touch 52

Artist: Carrie Roy 

Materials: wool, mulberry silk 

To create this map, artist Carrie Roy used materials reflecting two important fibers in Shakespeare’s time: wool and mulberry silk. Shakespeare's father was involved in wide-scale wool dealing in the 1570s, and in 1608 King James attempted to establish a silk industry in England by importing thousands of mulberry trees.

In Carrie’s words:
“This map is also a reflection on the efforts of the First Folio tour. The logistics of bringing this book to 52 venues across the country and providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view the First Folio in person—experiencing this closeness, the inviting tangible, almost touchable effect of seeing this historic artifact in person— is incredibly moving and inspired the soft, textured, inviting surface of the tour map.”

The Title Page

At the Folger, I'm known as Folio number 6. Although I wasn't on tour, I'm familiar to all visitors to the Folger because I am always on display! My title page is in nearly perfect condition, which is rare. Only 21 other copies of the First Folio at the Folger have an intact title page.

The engraving of Shakespeare is one of only two portraits widely accepted as a genuine likeness of the man (the other is the sculpture on his monument in the parish church at Stratford-upon-Avon). Engraver Martin Droeshout touched up the plate twice during printing. My title page has the final version.

STC 22273 Fo.1, no.6

Folio #36

  • 35,968 Total number of visitors 
  • 1,629 Total miles traveled from January 6 to April 3, 2016 
  • 78 Total number of special events scheduled 

The Purple Copy

open to Two Gentlemen of Verona 

At the Folger, I’m known as Folio number 36, or the “purple” copy. This is because 5 of my leaves have an unusual purple tint. One of my fellow Folios, number 78, also has leaves with the same purple tint, suggesting that someone pillaged the same First Folio to make us both complete. Incredibly, I consist of leaves from at least 5 different First Folios! Henry and Emily Folger purchased me in 1901 for $892.50.

STC 22273, Fo. 1, no. 36


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

Highlights From My Trip

Indiana • Illinois • Michigan


University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana

At the University of Notre Dame, they threw me a big welcome party with a ribbon cutting ceremony, trumpet fanfare, and cookies with my face on them. The mayor even came by to say hello! Local school children led the crowds in a regal procession from the library lobby to the rare books gallery, where I was displayed.

Image courtesy of University of Notre Dame

Lake County Discovery Museum

Wauconda, Illinois

The Lake County Discovery Museum realized the day before their First Folio exhibition opening that they owned Marlon Brando’s Mark Antony costume from the 1953 film Julius Caesar, pictured on the First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare exhibition panels. They quickly put it on display.

Image courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library


Wayne State University, Detroit Institute of Art, and Detroit Public Library

Detroit, Michigan

These three venues were the perfect trio to host the exhibition. Visitors only had to cross the quad to visit me at the Detroit Institute of Art, see the text panels and rare books at Wayne State University, and attend events at the public library. Nearby, Knowledge on Tap with Professor Kenneth Jackson (pictured here), turned a local bar into a hotbed of Shakespeare-centric conversation.

Image courtesy of Wayne State University


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

Folio #55

  • 34,405 Total number of visitors 
  • 8,477 Total miles traveled from January 6 to April 17, 2016 
  • 97 Total number of special events scheduled 

The First First Folio

open to Measure for Measure 

At the Folger, I’m known as Folio number 55, or the “first” First Folio. I was the very first Folio that Henry and Emily Folger purchased in 1896. I’m far from perfect: Merry Wives of Windsor comes from another First Folio, and part of my introduction is damaged. My first page and title page have been supplied in facsimile. Several early readers have added their signatures to my pages.

STC 22273, Fo. 1, no. 55


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

Highlights From My Trip

Oregon • Arizona • Washington 

University of Oregon

Eugene, Oregon

This is the program for the opening gala performance and reception for me at the Holt Center for the Performing Arts. A packed house of 500 people watched as actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival demonstrated the textual variations in the quarto and First Folio versions of King Lear.

Image courtesy of the University of Oregon and Oregon Shakespeare Festival


University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

My trip to Arizona conveniently aligned with the annual Tucson Festival of Books. I was featured in an ad about the festival in the Arizona Daily Star. During the festival, scholars gave presentations about me, and actors and visitors enthusiastically performed scenes from my plays.

Image courtesy of the Arizona Daily Star


Seattle Public Library

Seattle, Washington

The Seattle Public Library created a special performance space for my visit. Audiences saw a wide variety of shows ranging from a Youth Renaissance Ensemble to a ShakesQueer show (pictured here).

Image courtesy of the Seattle Public Library


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

Folio #58

  • 37,631 Total number of visitors
  • 4,083 Total miles traveled from January 4 to April 3, 2016
  • 85 Total number of special events scheduled


The Scissors Copy 

open to The Tempest

At the Folger, I'm known as Folio number 58, or the "scissors" copy. My seventeenth-century owner or binder left a pair of scissors in my pages, and you can still see its rusty traces today. Henry and Emily Folger purchased me in 1910 for $3,060. At the time, I was considered an "unrecorded" Folio since I did not appear in Sidney Lee's Census of the Shakespeare First Folios (1902).

My first page and my title leaf are missing. These and the last two leaves of the play Cymbeline were supplied in facsimile. I also contain leaves from other First Folios throughout my Tragedies section.

STC 22273, Fo. 1, no. 58


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

Highlights From My Trip

Oklahoma • New Mexico • Texas


Sam Noble Museum

Norman, Oklahoma

The Sam Noble Museum was not only my first stop, it was the first venue of the entire nationwide tour. While there, my neighbor was Sauroposeidon proteles, the world’s tallest dinosaur! You can see his head poking around to say hi in the left-hand corner of the picture.


New Mexico Museum of Art

Santa Fe, New Mexico

While the people I met in New Mexico were excited to see me, they were also eager to meet Shakespeare himself! They posted “wanted” signs all over town to track down Willy the Kid.

Image courtesy of the New Mexico Museum of Art


Texas A&M University

College Station, Texas

Staff at the Cushing Library at Texas A&M led a hands-on workshop on printing and book making for visitors. They learned to set type, make and marble paper, and print a replica First Folio page using an authentic English Common Press (pictured here)

Image courtesy of Texas A&M University

Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

Folio #71

  • 17,415 Total number of visitors 
  • 3,683 Total miles traveled from February 2 to April 3, 2016 
  • 73 Total number of special events scheduled 

The 15 Shillings Copy

open to Comedy of Errors 

At the Folger, I’m known as Folio number 71 or the “15 shillings” copy. This is because my first owner, Thomas Thorpe, paid 15 shillings (roughly $180 in modern day value) for me and noted the price on one of my first pages. Henry and Emily Folger purchased me in 1922 for $22,750. At first, they thought that I was incredibly special—a rare proof Folio, or a Folio made for proofreading in preparation for the final Folio— and badly wanted me. When they discovered I wasn’t a proof Folio, Henry negotiated with the dealer Gabriel Wells to lower my price.

My title page and 2 other leaves from my introduction are missing and were supplied from another First Folio. Eight leaves in The Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, and Hamlet also came from other First Folios. Five of my leaves in the play Cymbeline were supplied from a Second Folio and were counterfeited to look like the leaves of a First Folio.

 STC 22273, Fo. 1, no. 71 


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

Highlights From My Trip

Florida • Puerto Rico 

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University

Miami, Florida

For my visit to Florida International University, students from 3 different departments collaborated to create a 3D immersive experience where visitors could explore London virtually in the year 1598.

Image courtesy of Florida International University


Museo y Centro de Estudios Humanisticos

Turabo, Puerto Rico

The Fashion and English students at Universidad del Turabo put on a fashion show featuring 21 new creations inspired by my plays. As each model crossed the stage, an English student read aloud the lines that inspired the outfit.

Thanks to the help of professors and staff at Universidad del Turabo, Folger Shakespeare Library was able to produce a complete Spanish translation of the First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare text panels. This resource was used by many of the 52 host sites, and countless visitors.

Image courtesy of University of Turabo


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

Folio #77

(Substitute Folio #37)

I'm a substitute First Folio for the "Ingleby" First Folio, which returns from its final stop in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 11. The image next to me reproduces the title page of Coriolanus from that traveling First Folio.

My binding, made of red goatskin, was designed by the nineteenth-century bookbinder Roger de Coverly.

STC 22272 Fo.1, no.37

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Folio #77

  • COMING SOON! Total number of visitors 
  • 5,384 Total miles traveled from August 20 to December 11, 2016
  • 75 and counting! Total number of special events scheduled

The Ingleby Copy

open to Coriolanus 

At the Folger, I’m known as Folio number 77, or the “Ingleby” copy. I was owned by the renowned Shakespeare scholar Clement Mansfield Ingleby in the 1860s, then passed to his son Holcombe, a solicitor, politician, and Shakespeare fan. The Folgers paid $13,200 for me at the Sotheby’s sale of C. M. Ingleby’s books in July 1928.

I am missing all but the last 2 leaves of my introduction, 2 leaves from Henry VIII, and 10 leaves from Othello and Cymbeline, all supplied in facsimile or from other Folios. Many of my leaves are also damaged.

STC 22273 Fo. 1, no. 77


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

Highlights From My Trip

Boise State University

Boise, Idaho

Everyone joined in the ribbon cutting for my visit to Boise State University, including Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and Dan DeSimone, Folger’s Eric Weinmann Librarian. During my stay, I welcomed students back to school, and they welcomed me with songs, games, and lots of hoopla.

Image courtesy of Arts and Humanities Institute Boise State University

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

Montgomery, Alabama

At the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, hundreds of students and families came to visit me and to see a production of the one man show, Gravedigger’s Tale, performed by Louis Butelli. That Gravedigger sure knows how to spin a yarn!

Photo by Teresa Wood 


Emory University

Atlanta, Georgia

At Emory University, I saw some of the coolest Shakespeare-inspired postcards I’ve ever seen in their exhibition All the World’s an eStage: Shakespeare Postcards in a Digital Age!

This postcard is of Lily Brayton and Oscar Asche, famous Shakespearean actors of their day, in a scene from The Taming of the Shrew.

Image courtesy of Emory University

Folio #22

(Substitute Folio #21)

I'm a substitute First Folio for the "Lord Vernon" First Folio, which returns from its final stop in Annapolis, Maryland, on December 4. The image next to me reproduces the title page of Julius Caesar from that traveling First Folio.

My binding, made of red goatskin, was designed by the nineteenth-century bookbinder Robert Rivière. Rivière's bindery was used by many of the most prominent collectors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

STC 22273 Fo.1, no.21

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Folio #22

  • COMING SOON! Total number of visitors
  • 508 Total miles traveled from August 30 to December 4, 2016 
  • 41 and counting! Total Number of Special events scheduled

Lord Vernon Copy

open to Julius Caesar 

At the Folger, I’m known as Folio number 22, or the “Lord Vernon” copy. I belonged to George John Venables, fifth Baron Vernon, in the mid-1850s. I remained in the family until 1918, when Henry and Emily Folger acquired me at a Sotheby’s sale for $11,000.

Other than several defective leaves in introduction, which have been repaired, I am a complete First Folio.

STC 22273 Fo. 1, no. 22


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

Highlights From My Trip

University of Delaware

Newark, Delaware

I learned all about how I was made when I visited Delaware, including how to make an engraving like the one of Shakespeare on my title page. This image, “William, William” shows a copperplate and print based on a digital image of the portrait in a Second Folio from the Special Collections, University of Delaware Library.

Photo by Martha Carothers


University of Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

In honor of my visit, The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia organized a special exhibition called Shakespeare by the Book. It featured massive folios, artists’ books, and a miniature representation of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater (pictured here).

Photo by Shane Lin


St. John’s College

Annapolis, Maryland

My hosts at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland were so excited for my visit in November that they made bookmarks (pictured here) to give out at the 2016 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Image courtesy of St. John’s College


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

Folio #67

  • 34,697 Total number of visitors 
  • 5,108 Total miles traveled from February 1 to May 31, 2016 
  • 54 Total number of special events scheduled 

The Fitzherbert Copy

open to As You Like It 

At the Folger, I’m known as Folio number 67, or the “Fitzherbert” copy. Sir William Fitzherbert acquired me in 1780, and I stayed in the family until Henry and Emily Folger purchased me at a Sotheby’s auction in 1924 for $7,400.

Like Folio number 58 (also on display), I have the rusty outline of an early pair of scissors on my pages. Very few of my leaves are missing, and I was left relatively untouched, unlike most First Folios that survive today.

STC 22273, Fo. 1, no. 67


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio


Highlights From My Trip

Kansas • South Dakota • Nebraska • Montana

Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas

When I arrived in Kansas, they took me straight to court for a mock trial with law students and local judges. Oberon and Titania, the King and Queen of the fairies from a Midsummer Night’s Dream, battled for custody of the Changeling Boy.

Image courtesy of Kansas State University


University of South Dakota and the National Music Museum

Vermillion, South Dakota

I received a true American welcome in South Dakota. Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt all came down from Mount Rushmore to say hello and see me on display at the National Music Museum on the campus of the University of South Dakota.

Image courtesy of the National Music Museumz


University of Montana

Missoula, Montana

Many students in Montana came to visit me in person and learned about Shakespeare’s plays. Other students who weren’t able to visit explored the plays through virtual online classes offered by We Are Montana in the Classroom.

Image courtesy of the University of Montana


The Durham Museum

Omaha, Nebraska

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death on April 23, 2016, everyone at the Durham Museum in Nebraska spoke like Shakespeare.

Image courtesy of the Durham Museum


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

Folio #38

  • 22,288 Total number of visitors
  • 1,305 Total miles traveled from February 1 to May 31, 2016
  • 87 Total number of special events scheduled

The Jane Katherin Copy

open to Taming of the Shrew

At the Folger I'm known as Folio number 38 or the "Jane Katherin" copy. Jane Katherin, one of my early readers, inscribed her name on one of my leaves. Henry and Emily Folger purchased me in 1911 for $660. Back then I was considered an "unrecorded" Folio because I was not listed in Sidney Lee's Census of Copies of the Shakespeare First Folio (1902).

My entire introduction and the last leaf of the play Cymbeline are supplied in facsimile. A number of scattered leaves were supplied from other First Folios or restored in manuscript facsimile.

STC 22273, Fo. 1, no. 38


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

Highlights From My Trip

Vermont • Maine • New Hampshire • Massachusetts 

Middlebury College

Middlebury, Vermont

I spent time in Vermont with some of my youngest fans. Middlebury College partnered with the Ilsley Public Library to host a Romeo and Juliet storytime for babies and toddlers. Each participant took home a copy of Romeo & Juliet: A Counting Primer.

Image courtesy of Middlebury College


Portland Public Library

Portland, Maine

Teenagers in Portland, Maine invaded their public library for a Shakespeare Slam, a recitation contest made for kids, by kids.

Image courtesy of the Portland Public Library


Amherst College

Amherst, Massachusetts

Popcorn was in order for my stay in Massachusetts! Visitors watched a recording of the first-ever nationally broadcast performance of a Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar, recorded in 1949 here in our own Folger Theatre (shown below).

Image courtesy of Amherst College Archives & Special Collections


Currier Museum of Art

Manchester, New Hampshire

This comic book was on display in the exhibition Shakespeare’s Potions at the Currier Museum of Art. The exhibition explored herbal texts from Shakespeare’s time, alongside film stills and memorabilia that refers to potions from Shakespeare’s plays.

Image courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

Folio #31

  • 44,001 Total number of visitors
  • 2,837 Total miles traveled from April 11 to June 28, 2016
  • 102 Total number of special events scheduled

The Halkshill House Copy

open to All's Well That Ends Well

At the Folger, I'm known as Folio number 31 or the "Halkshill House" copy. In the late 1800s I belonged to Scottish ship builder and book collector John Scott, Esq., who lived in Halkshill House in Scotland. Henry and Emily Folger purchased me in 1905 for $1,350.

I am missing all the leaves of my introduction and the very last leaf of the play Cymbeline. 3 of my missing leaves in the plays The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Much Ado About Nothing were supplied from another First Folio.

STC 22273, Fo. 1, no. 31 


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

Highlights From My Trip

South Carolina • North Carolina • Missouri

University of South Carolina Libraries

Columbia, South Carolina

In South Carolina, I learned all about the kinds of manuscripts and printed texts that were used by the printer to create me. Some of my visitors tried their hand at transcribing early modern manuscripts at Shakespeare's World online: shakespearesworld.org!

Image courtesy of the University of South Carolina


Kansas City Public Library

Kansas City, Missouri

Crosby Kemper III, Director of the Kansas City Public Library, scored an exclusive interview with my author, Mr. William Shakespeare, played by an actor. In this episode of KCTP's Meet The Past (available on YouTube), they talked about Shakespeare's life as an actor and playwright.

Image Courtesy of the Kansas City Public Library


North Carolina Museum of History

Raleigh, North Carolina

In preparation for my visit to North Carolina, 38 theater groups each performed one of Shakespeare's 38 plays in a 24/7 Shakespeare Marathon that lasted for 5 whole days! At a midnight performance of Twelfth Night, the sleepy actors performed in their pajamas.

Image courtesy of the North Carolina History Museum

Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

Folio #59

  • 10,562 Total number of visitors
  • 1,547 Total miles traveled from April 11 to July 30, 2016
  • 137 Total number of special events scheduled

The Public Library Copy

open to Twelfth Night

At the Folger, I'm known as Folio number 59, or the "public library" copy. In 1829, 2 women, Mrs. Fortescue and Mrs. Gillis, offered me to their public library in Plymouth, England. Unlike the earlier 1830s, readers could check me out like any other book for up to 7 days. Then, a note was added to my inside cover: "not to circulate." Henry and Emily Folger purchased me in 1913 for $255.

Like Folio number 72 (also on display), I was sold without the text of Troilus and Cressida, since the play was not licensed for publication until late in the printing process. A facsimile of the play was added at a later date. All but 2 leaves of my introduction, the last 2 plays Antony and Cleopatra and Cymbeline, and 22 leaves scattered throughout my text were likely replaced by leaves from the first published facsimile of the First Folio (1807).

STC 22273 Fo. 1, no. 59


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

Highlights From My Trip

Rhode Island • West Virginia • Ohio


Brown University 

Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University students worked with local Spanish-speaking middle school students to explore Romeo and Juliet in Spanish in the program ¡Shakespeare para todos! and performed scenes for the public.

Photo by Nick Dentamaro


Museums of Oglebay Institute

Wheeling, West Virginia

West Virginians celebrated Shakespeare in Renaissance style at “ShakesBeer in the Park” (mead and turkey legs included!)

Image courtesy of Weelunk


Cleveland Public Library

Cleveland, Ohio

David Hansen of Great Lakes Theater, wrote and directed an adaptation of my play Twelfth Night. His play, Twelfth Night: As Told by Malvolio was performed in parks and libraries across the city.

Photo by Catherine Young


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

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Folio #62

• 11,246 Total number of visitors

• 2,735 Total miles traveled from April 11 to July 12, 2016

• 64 Total number of special events scheduled


The Package Deal Copy

open to Winter's Tale


At the Folger, I'm known as Folio number 62, or the "package deal" copy. In order to acquire me in 1916 for about $3,000, Henry and Emily Folger also had to purchase a Second and Fourth Folio. Just like Folios 38, 50, and 58 (all on display here), at the time of my purchase I was an "unrecorded" Folio (I did not appear in Sidney Lee's 1902 Census of the Shakespeare First Folios).


All the leaves of my introduction are missing and, at the end of my text, the last 2 leaves of the play Cymbeline are supplied in printed facsimile. I also have several damaged leaves supplemented in manuscript facsimile.

STC 22273 Fo. 1, no. 62

Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

________________________________________

Folio #62

Mississippi • Louisiana • Arkansas 


HIGHLIGHTS FROM MY TRIP 


University of Mississippi 

Oxford, Mississippi


At the University of Mississippi, the Mockingbird Early Music Ensemble performed music from Shakespeare’s plays and let my young visitors try out instruments for themselves. 


Image courtesy of the University of Mississippi 


Tulane University 

New Orleans, Louisiana 


New Orleans put on a party for me as only this city can, holding a jazz funeral for William Shakespeare at Tulane University. Dr. Michael White and the Liberty Brass Band led a procession of hundreds of Shakespeare fans sporting beaded Mardi Gras necklaces and parasols with fringe. 


Image courtesy of Tulane School of Liberal Arts 


University of Central Arkansas with the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre 

Conway, Arkansas 


Shakespeare really showed his school spirit when I visited the University of Central Arkansas. I even met their mascot, Victor E. Bear! 


Image courtesy of the University of Central Arkansas 



Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

________________________________________

Folio #19

(Substitute Folio #60)

 I'm a substitute First Folio for the "golden retriever" First Folio, which returns from its final stop in Louisville, Kentucky, on December 10. The image next to me reproduces the title page of Macbeth from that traveling First folio.

My binding, made of yellow-brown goatskin, was designed by the nineteenth-century English bookbinder Francis Bedford, who was responsible for rebinding more First Folios (over ten percent of surviving copies) than any other bookbinder.

STC 22273 Fo.1, no.60

________________________________________

Folio #19


• COMING SOON! Total number of visitors 

• 6,051 Total miles traveled from September 1 to December 10, 2016 

• 83 and counting! Total number of special events scheduled 


THE GOLDEN RETRIEVER COPY 

open to Macbeth 


At the Folger, I’m known as Folio number 19, or the “golden retriever” copy. My nineteenth-century owner, the first Baron Tweedmouth, established the Golden Retriever dogbreed. In 1905, Henry and Emily Folger declined to buy me from a London bookdealer because of the price, but later that year, they offered the new owner $7,300, plus one of the 2 copies they owned of Sidney Lee’s 1902 photographic facsimile of the First Folio. At the time, Lee’s facsimile was considered to be the most accurate ever produced. 


Ben Jonson’s verse "To the reader," facing the title pages, is a printed facsimile. My defective title page and last leaf of the play Cymbeline were completed in manuscript facsimile. 8 missing leaves within my text have been supplied from other First Folios. 

STC 22273 Fo. 1, no. 19 


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

________________________________________

Folio #19


HIGHLIGHTS FROM MY TRIP 


University of Nevada 

Las Vegas, Nevada 


David Schwartz, Director of the Center for Gaming Research at UNLV, led visitors in an interactive talk called Hazard All He Hath: Shakespeare’s Gambling World. After the talk, visitors learned a few friendly games of chance from the 1600s (but don’t worry, they were only playing for “Shakespeare bucks”!). 


Image courtesy of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries Special Collections 


Gallaudet University 

Washington D.C. 


At the opening reception, visitors were treated to a sneak preview of Gallaudet University Theater’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in American Sign Language (pictured here). 


Image courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library 


Frazier History Museum, University of Louisville, and Louisville Free Public Library 


Louisville, Kentucky 


Will in the Ville was the slogan for my visit to Louisville, KY, and a city-wide celebration of Shakespeare. Over 45 organizations from across the city participated, including the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, where visitors saw The Shakespearean Baseball Game: A Comedy of Errors, Hits, and Runs.


Image courtesy of the Louisville Free Public Library 


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

________________________________________

Folio #72

(Substitute Folio #29)

 I'm a substitute First Folio for the "Rachel Paule" First Folio, which returns from its final stop in Madison, Wisconsin, on December 11. The image next to me reproduces the title page of Antony and Cleopatra from that traveling First Folio.

My binding, made of red goatskin, was designed by the late nineteenth-century bookbinding firm Rivière & Son. Rivière's bindery was used by many of the most prominent collectors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

STC 22273 Fo.1, no.29

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Folio #72


• COMING SOON!  Total number of visitors 

• 2,520 Total miles traveled from August 29 to December 11, 2016 

• 129 and counting! Total number of special events scheduled 


THE RACHEL PAULE COPY 

open to Antony and Cleopatra 


At the Folger, I’m known as Folio number 72, or the “Rachel Paule” copy. Rachel Paule, the daughter of a wealthy 17th century London merchant and wife of William Paule, bishop of Oxford, signed her name on the back of the title leaf. A late seventeenth-century engraved portrait of Rachel Paule suggests that she had significant social standing. Henry and Emily Folger acquired me for $41,000 in 1926, making me one of the most expensive Folios they ever bought. My price was so high because, like Folio number 59 (also on display), I am a “first issue”, which means I was printed and sold before the text of Troilus and Cressida was added. 


A later owner or bookseller supplied the missing text from another First Folio, but the pages are smaller than my original ones. Two leaves from my introduction came from yet another First Folio. 


STC 22273 Fo. 1, no. 72 


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

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Folio #72


HIGHLIGHTS FROM MY TRIP 


The University of Iowa Libraries 

Iowa City, Iowa 


I saw quite a few variations on my plays when I visited Iowa. The special exhibition, Shakespeare Redesigned, included artists’ books, and even featured a video game called “Play The Knave” that immersed people in the world of Shakespeare. My visitors also got a chance to make their own books, starting with making their own paper (pictured here). 


Image courtesy of the University of Iowa 


University of Minnesota 

Duluth, Minnesota 


The First Folio received lots of press in Minnesota, including an eight page insert in the Duluth Newspaper Group’s daily publications. One of the pages (pictured here) describes how the University of Minnesota was selected as my venue. 


Image provided by the University of Minnesota, Duluth 


University of Wisconsin 

Madison, Wisconsin 


At the Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, I got a taste of how the rest of the world celebrates Shakespeare through their special exhibition Presenting Shakespeare: Posters from Around the World. 


It included a poster from a production of Hamlet in Poland (shown here).


Poland, 2002, designer: Monika Starowicz (Dydo Poster Collection), courtesy of Mirko Ilić 


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

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Folio #54


• 57,179 Total number of visitors 

• 10,074 Total miles traveled from April 25 to July 7, 2016 

• 44 Total number of special events scheduled 


THE HUTCHINSON COPY 

open to King John 


At the Folger, I’m known as Folio number 54, or the “Hutchinson” copy. Colonel John Hutchinson, who played an important role during the English Civil War, and his wife Lucy, a writer and translator, acquired me in the mid-17th century. I remained in the Hutchinson family until 1913, when Henry and Emily Folger acquired me for $3,950. 


My pages include extensive early notes on character lists and identification of scene locations for several plays. In the mid-1800s, a Hutchinson descendant had me rebound and supplied some of my missing leaves. 6 of the 9 introductory leaves are missing, along with 2 leaves in the plays The Tempest and Cymbeline. 


STC 22273, Fo. 1, no. 54 


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

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Folio #54

Hawaii • California 


HIGHLIGHTS FROM MY TRIP 


Kapi’olani Community College 

Honolulu, Hawaii 


The wall panel above me shows the title pages from the 18 plays that might have been lost if I had never been published. Highlighted in yellow are famous lines from each of those plays. Nearby was an exhibition about the history of Shakespeare in the Hawaiian islands. 


Image courtesy of the Kapi’olani Community College 


San Diego Public Library with The Old Globe 

San Diego, California 


Visitors at the San Diego Public Library left messages sharing how Shakespeare’s words are still relevant today after all these years. Some of my favorite notes include “Shakespeare has the best questions,” “No one captures the essence of the human spirit like Shakespeare,” and “He helped me fall in love.” 


Image courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library 


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

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Folio #61

• 21,079 Total number of visitors 

• 3,984 Total miles traveled from July 5 to September 30, 2016 

• 63 Total number of special events scheduled 


The Bulley Copy

open to Henry VIII


At the Folger, I’m known as Folio number 61, or the “Bulley” copy. Reverend Dr. Frederick Bulley, President of Magdalen College, Oxford, acquired me in 1870. Henry and Emily Folger purchased me from his widow, Margaret Bulley, in March 1916. 


I am missing my first leaf, title page, and last leaf of the play Cymbeline—all supplied in facsimile. Four of my other leaves are also missing, and were supplied from other First Folios. 

STC 22273 Fo. 1, no. 61 


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

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Folio #61

North Dakota • Colorado • Wyoming


HIGHLIGHTS FROM MY TRIP 


State Historical Society of North Dakota 

Bismarck, North Dakota 


Capitol Shakespeare and the State Historical Society of North Dakota put on a Children’s Renaissance Faire and let families explore the life and times of Shakespeare. Faire-goers had a chance to see and perform in some of my plays, and take selfies with Shakespeare. 


Image courtesy of State Historical Society of North Dakota 


University of Colorado 

Boulder, Colorado 


My time in Boulder was full of stars! At the Fiske Planetarium visitors looked at images of the night sky and learned how the history and folklore of constellations and eclipses influenced Shakespeare and his writings. 


Photo by Matthew Benjamin 


Wyoming State Museum 

Cheyenne, Wyoming 


Everyone came out for ShakesFaire Cheyenne, where visitors saw the Ballet Wyoming, the Cheyenne Little Theater Players, and the Wyoming 4-H Club. I also saw Nathan Doerr, Curator of Education at the Wyoming State Museum, create his own First Folio using a quill and ink! 


Listen to Nathan talk about the exhibition at the Tour Map Station 


Image courtesy of the Wyoming State Museum


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

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Folio #50

• 30,586 Total number of visitors

• 5,918 Total miles traveled from June 7 to August 24, 2016

• 66 Total number of special events scheduled


The Stage Direction Copy

 open to Henry VI, Part I


At the Folger, I'm known as Folio number 50, or the "stage direction" copy. Several of my pages in the plays As You Like It and King Lear bear stage directions, notes, and revisions, suggesting that I belonged to a director or an editor. Until the early 1900's, I was unknown, and did not appear in Sidney Lee's Census of the Shakespeare First Folios (1902). Henry and Emily Folger purchased me for $7,500 in 1912.

On of my leaves in Romeo and Juliet included original proof-reader's marks. My first leaf is missing and was supplied in facsimile. At least five other leaves in my text were supplies from other First Folios.

STC 22273 Fo. 1 no. 50

Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

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Folio #50

New York • Alaska

HIGHLIGHTS FROM MY TRIP


New-York Historical Society

New York, New York


In the middle of New York City, I learned about stage combat from Shakespearean actors, and watched a conversation about female empowerment in my plays.


Heroes and Heroines: Women in Shakespeare and Lessons for Today's Leaders, was led by Folger Shakespeare Library Director, Michael Witmore, with New York Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, and acclaimed actress Cush Jumbo at the New-York Historical society (pictured here).


Photo by Don Pollard


Alaska State Libraries, Archives, and Museums

Juneau, Alaska


In Alaska, I visited the brand-new Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum. During my time there, children explored writing with quills and ink, printing with a letterpress, and making and wearing a ruff. 


Image courtesy of the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

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 Folio #43

(Substitute Folio #78)

 I'm a substitute First Folio for the "complete set" First Folio, which returns from its final stop in Nashville, Tennessee, on January 8, 2017. The Image next to me reproduces the title page of Cymbeline from the traveling First Folio.

My binding, made of purple goatskin, was designed by an unrecorded nineteenth-century bookbinder

STC 22273 Fo.1, no.78

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Folio #43

• COMING SOON!  Total number of visitors 

• 4,355 Total miles traveled from October 8, 2016 to January 8, 2017 

• 56 and counting! Total number of special events scheduled 


THE COMPLETE SET COPY 

open to Cymbeline 


At the Folger, I’m known as Folio number 43 or the “complete set” copy because I arrived in Providence, RI with my cousins the Second, Third, and Fourth Folios as the property of a bookseller. The four of us were sold together twice before Henry and Emily Folger purchased us all in 1906. They paid $6,500 just for me. 


I am missing all the leaves of my introduction as well as the first 12 pages of The Tempest and the last 10 pages of Cymbeline. These were all supplied in facsimile. I have many other defective leaves throughout my text, some of which were completed in manuscript facsimile. 


STC 22273 Fo. 1, no. 43 


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

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Folio #43

HIGHLIGHTS FROM MY TRIP 


Salt Lake City Public Library 

Salt Lake City, Utah 


The Utah Children’s Theater was a highlight of my visit. They hosted multiple events at the library including performances of The Fabulous Folio of Mr. William Shakespeare, Playwright, and, always a crowd pleaser, Thus with a Fish I Die, a family program that put a humorous twist on some of Shakespeare’s most famous death scenes. 


Image courtesy of the Salt Lake City Public Library 


The Parthenon 

Nashville, Tennessee 


The highlight of my visit to Nashville’s Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the ancient temple in Greece (pictured here), was a day-long celebration of Hamlet, including a puppet show and performances by high school students. 


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

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Folio #44

(Substitute Folio #27)

 I'm a substitute First Folio for the "bargain basement" First Folio, which returns from its final stop in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, on December 5. The image next to me reproduces the title page of Timon of Athens from that traveling First Folio.

My binding, made of red calfskin, was designed by the nineteenth-century English bookbinder Francis Bedford, who was responsible for rebinding more First Folios (over ten percent of surviving copies) than any other bookbinder.

STC 22272 Fo.1, no.27

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Folio #44

• COMING SOON!  Total number of visitors 

• 802 Total miles traveled from September 2 to December 5, 2016 

• 62 and counting! Total number of special events scheduled 


THE BARGAIN BASEMENT COPY 

open to Timon of Athens 


At the Folger, I’m known as Folio number 44, or the “bargain basement” copy, because Henry and Emily Folger acquired me in 1898 for only $561. I’m not the cheapest First Folio in the collection, but I was a bargain even by those days’ standards. I am the fourth First Folio they acquired. 


Like Folio number 50 (also on display), some stage directions are changed and other ones added in The Tempest, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Cymbeline. My title page and 4 other leaves in the introduction are missing. These, as well as 2 of my leaves in Cymbeline, were supplied in printed facsimile. An additional 16 missing leaves were supplied from other First Folios. 


STC 22273 Fo. 1, no. 44


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

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Folio #44

HIGHLIGHTS FROM MY TRIP 


University of Connecticut 

Storrs, Connecticut 


During my visit to Connecticut, an annual community day took on a Shakespearean theme, complete with a printing demonstration and a puppet show. Even the University of Connecticut Mascot, Jonathan the Husky (portrayed here), was inspired by my visit! 


Image courtesy of the University of Connecticut, Storrs 



Drew University and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey 

Madison, New Jersey 


At the opening of the exhibition in New Jersey visitors got their first glimpse of me, and other rare books in an exhibition called Will and the Word which was curated by Drew University students. After the sneak preview, visitors were treated to a concert of Measure for Measure: The Music of Shakespeare’s Plays performed by the Ensemble Chaconne of Boston. 


Image courtesy of Drew University/ Karen Mancinelli 


Elizabethtown College 

Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania


At Elizabethtown College, visitors saw films based on my plays from all over the world. A banner (pictured here) adorning the High Library at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, announced my arrival to students and the community. 


Image courtesy of Elizabethtown College 


Visit the Tour Map Station to learn more about the First Folio at these venues

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Folio #33

Folger Shakespeare Library Great Hall


I was prepared to travel just in case another First Folio needed to be pulled from the lineup. As a consolation prize, the Folger’s curators are giving me a “staycation” in the Great Hall so that I can experience what being on display was like for the traveling Folios. 


I’m open to the “To be or not to be” speech, just like I’m on tour, and in the Shakespeare Gallery (to your left) are the 6 text panels from the tour.

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Folio # 33


• 1/10 of a mile, at most traveled from November 19, 2016 to January 22, 2017 

• Total number of people who visit me: Tell your friends to come to this exhibition! 


THE UNDERSTUDY COPY 

open to Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” speech 


At the Folger, I’m known as Folio number 33, or the “understudy.” Henry and Emily purchased me in 1903 for $825. In 1875, my pages were completely taken apart (or disbound) to be photographed for the first-ever photomechanical facsimile. Like many of my other Folios on display here, I am missing leaves in my introduction and Cymbeline. Four of my missing leaves in Comedy of Errors, Much Ado about Nothing, Midsummer’s Night Dream and Henry IV, Part II were supplied from other folios. 


STC 22273 Fo. 1, no.33 


Visit the Sophistication Station to learn more about this First Folio

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SELECTING THE FIRST FOLIOS TO TRAVEL


First Folios were selected for travel based on the overall condition and stability of each book’s binding and pages, as well as the condition of the opening shown at each venue: Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” speech. 


Each Folio was fully digitized and its condition analyzed before it was sent out. Sustained exposure to light leads to fading of ink, darkening of paper, and increased fragility, so the Folger’s conservators established a “light budget” based on the total number of hours that the book could be safely exposed. This ensures that our First Folios are available for research and display hundreds of years from now. 


Sixteen of the 18 First Folios chosen to travel had only left the building once since the library opened in 1932. In 1942, they were secretly sent by train to Amherst College in Massachusetts to avoid potential damage during World War II. 


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TO BE, OR NOT TO BE, THAT IS THE QUESTION

Translating Hamlet's Iconic Speech

These iconic words resonate in many different languages with people all over the United States. 


Some of the 52 venues were inspired to provide fresh translations of Shakespeare’s famous words into the languages of their community members. 


This led to 2 new translations and the creation of 1 new collection of translations in Sign Language. A third translation was attempted, but not completed: the University of South Dakota discovered that the Lakota language does not have an equivalent verb for “to be.” 


To read the entire speech, visit First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare in the Shakespeare Gallery at the east end of the exhibition hall.


Image Caption: This is the wall of First Folios safely stored on their shelves in the Folger vault.


Image courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library

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SELECTING VENUES


In 2014, the Folger invited cultural institutions from across the US and US territories to apply for a traveling exhibition in 2016: First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare. The tour received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and was coordinated in association with the American Library Association and Cincinnati Museum Center. 


Despite the lengthy application process and programming, security, and climate requirements for the display of the books, we received almost 200 applications from a wide range of institutions, each competing for an opportunity to show the First Folio to their communities. 


Host sites were required to organize at least 4 free programs, including 1 workshop for school teachers and 1 event for families. Free admission to see the First Folio was strongly encouraged. Each institution created their own exhibition, with the First Folio and accompanying text panels as the focal point. 

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THE LOGISTICS

Scheduling the tour was like putting together a complicated jigsaw puzzle. To ensure that all 18 First Folios reached their 52 destinations successfully, Folger staff considered weather, the distance between venues, venue availability, and many other variables. 


Depending on the route, the couriers traveled with the First Folio by plane or by truck. They had to arrive a few days early to each site to allow the First Folio to acclimate to its new environment before putting it inside the display case. Rapid and dramatic shifts in temperature and humidity can be harmful to a book’s pages and binding. 


After receiving specialized training and studying a 60-page courier guide, staff from the Folger and Cincinnati Museum Center (who provided tour support) traveled to each destination to install a First Folio, bringing with them: 


• The First Folio 

• A custom display case 

• A book cradle 

• An alarm system 

• Equipment to monitor humidity and light levels 

• 6 huge graphic panels

• Tools for mounting the First Folio


Left Image Caption: Three large traveling crates were used to ship the exhibition to each venue. See one of the traveling crates behind you.


Image courtesy of Folger Courier


Right Image Caption: Sarah Lima of the Cincinnati Museum Center secures the First Folio in its cradle during the installation at the Durham Museum in Omaha, Nebraska.

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ROAD CRATE


First Folio! The Book that Gave us Shakespeare packs into 3 made-to-order crates like this one. Each is lined with shock-absorbent foam that cushions and isolates every item it contains. This crate has two halves: the bottom, which contains all the text panel parts, and the top, which contains everything necessary to assemble the exhibition, including:


• variety of tools 

• supplies for mounting the First Folio  

• silica gel to keep the humidity inside the display case stable

• weights for the display case


Each crate fits through a standard door, and the high quality wheels make it relatively easy to push even though it weights 700 pounds. This crate has travelled to 9 venues in Kansas, South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.