University of Nevada to Host Shakespeare’s First Folio Works in 50 States Exhibit Tour


A traveling exhibit on a folio published seven years after William Shakespeare’s death (in 1623) will arrive in Southern Nevada for public viewing.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) will be hosting the “First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare” exhibit, which contains 36 of the bard’s plays, and even 18, which have not been printed before.

The dean of UNLV libraries, Patricia Iannuzzi, said that this was an important and historic moment for the University Libraries. William Shakespeare’s contribution to the world of literature through his comedies, tragedies, romances, and sonnets has left a vast impression throughout the academia.

Folger Shakespeare Library Requirements

The university is working closely with the Folger Shakespeare Library from Washington DC to ensure that the exhibit will go without a hitch. One of the main concerns, though, is the climate in the area.

Michelle Light, the director of UNLV Special Collections, said that the Folger Shakespeare Library had strict requirements for the showing of the folio, since it was made in 1623, and would require more careful handling.

Light said that too warm a temperature could cause deterioration of the pages, but if the humidity is too low, it could cause brittleness among the papers.

Setting up the right temperature was vital to avoid damaging the folio, with extra care taken to make sure that the room temperature will stay at around 69 – 71 degrees.

The university’s Facilities Management was able to buy three humidifiers for the exhibit. The UNLV plumbing shop also helped, running water lines for the humidifiers into the Lied Library’s Special Collections room, where the exhibit will happen.

The assistant director of UNLV’s Facilities Management, Scott Wright, said that since UNLV would be the only host in Nevada for the Shakespearean exhibit, the university was willing to go all-out to ensure the success of the program.

Wright’s team has installed several sensors in the exhibit room. These sensors will collect information about humidity and temperature, and transmit the data to the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Since direct sunlight would cause deterioration, the room windows will be blacked out, with only reduced light coming from light fixtures. Flash photography will not be allowed in the exhibit room.

First Folio Tour

The First Folio tour, hosted by the Folger Shakespeare Library, together with the Cincinnati Museum Center, and the American Library Association, will be going around the country and Puerto Rico.

The First Folio is responsible for compiling several important Shakespearean plays like “Macbeth”, “Twelfth Night”, “Julius Caesar”, “The Tempest”, and “As You Like It”, which would have otherwise been lost to obscurity.

Several thousands of visitors are expected to flock to the exhibit, so UNLV will also be hosting other programs to make the visit more worthwhile:

  • A preview of the hip-hop Shakespearean adaptation of the Nevada Conservatory Theatre’s “The Bomb-itty of Errors” (Sept. 1)
  • A teachers’ workshop (Sept. 10)
  • Shakespearean performances (Sept. 11)
  • Children’s activities (Sept. 17)
  • A lecture by international expert Eric Rasmussen (Sept. 18)
  • Other seminars on Shakespearean literature throughout the month

The UNLV exhibit room will extend its hours Monday to Thursday, from 9 AM to 7 PM; Fridays are from 9 AM to 5 PM, and weekends are 11 AM to 5 PM.

The First Folio exhibit at UNLV Lied Library’s Special Collections room will start on September 1 until September 29, 2016.

Rob Clark admin staff managing editor

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