University of Leicester launches exhibition celebrating 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio

The University of Leicester is celebrating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s First Folio with an exhibition at the David Wilson Library.

Published in 1623, The First Folio is the name given by modern scholars to the first published collection of William Shakespeare’s plays.

The exhibition will explore Shakespeare’s library of classical literature, historical chronicles, religious text and philosophical writings which helped to shape and inspire his poetic and dramatic works.

It will showcase items from the University of Leicester’s Archives & Special Collections which include an original Fourth Folio (1685), the manuscript Brut Chronicle (15th century) and David Garrick’s annotated copy of King Lear (1776).

The exhibition has been created as a collaboration between Centre for International Training and Education (CITE) and the Division of Library and Learning Services at University of Leicester.

Dr Christina Wolf, from CITE said: “The aims of this exhibition are to highlight the connections between Shakespeare’s work and the works of others, and showcase the rare items hold at the University of Leicester’s Special Collections.

“The exhibition celebrates the publication of the Folio 400 years ago and the work of Shakespeare’s editors in our own time.”

The exhibition will be open every day until Monday 24 April between 9:30 am and 4:30 am (except public holidays and University closure days).

Entry to the David Wilson Library is free although security controlled. Ask for admission to the Special Collections exhibition at reception.