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A 1685 print copy of Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. The book is open to the title page with an illustration of the author featured on the opposite.
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John M. Olin Library, Level 1, Newman Tower of Collections and Exploration

The Play’s the Thing: Shakespeare in Special Collections

The Play’s the Thing exhibition celebrates the 400-year anniversary of the first folio—the first time William Shakespeare’s collected works were printed. Since then, Shakespeare has become ubiquitous with themes that still resonate with readers and theater-goers today.

The exhibition showcases items from every area of Special Collections with objects ranging from rare books to playbills, academic research, and theater maquettes, which highlight some of his most famous plays including Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Hamlet, Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Twelfth Night.

The Play’s the Thing exhibition was curated by the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections and Bernadette Lamb, MFA ’23.

Header Image Credit: Shakespeare, William and George Fabyan Collection (Library of Congress). Mr. William Shakespear’s Comedies Histories and Tragedies Faithfully Reproduced in Facsimile from the Edition of 1685. Methuen 1904.