Published: Aug. 21, 2016
Shakespeare book on display

First Folio, the original compilation of Shakespeare’s 36 plays, is on display at the University of Colorado Boulder’s First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare exhibition from Aug. 9-31. This unique viewing opportunity commemorates this year’s 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The First Folio! exhibition at the CU Art Museum is open to the public and free of charge, yet reservations are strongly encouraged and can be scheduled through Brown Paper Tickets.

First Folio is the first complete collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, published by two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors in 1623, seven years after his death. The renowned publication preserves 36 of Shakespeare’s theatrical works, 18 of which were not printed prior to the publication. Without First Folio, many of Shakespeare’s most famous plays would not be known or available today, including Macbeth, Julius CaesarTwelfth NightThe Tempest and Antony and Cleopatra.

Viewers will be able to get up close and personal with the most quoted line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “to be or not to be,” and the exhibition will provide visitors with interactive Shakespearean activities and a multi-paneled exhibition regarding Shakespeare’s impact on both historical and contemporary societies.

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare is on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, and will be available to view in all 50 states, as well as in Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. To date, there are 233 known copies of the First Folio, with 82 held by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. In addition to First Folio!, CU Boulder is excited to host various public Shakespearean events throughout August and September, including tastings at Cakes and Ale: The Food of Shakespeare, a Visual Sonnet Workshop, Shakespeare Garden tours from the CU Museum of Natural History, Folio Forum: informal lectures presented by CU professors, a celestial viewing at Shakespeare and the Stars and many more. For event details, visit us at

Shakespeare at CU is sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, University Libraries, College of Arts & Sciences, College of Music and CU Art Museum.

Special thanks to the program collaborators: Center for British and Irish Studies, College of Music, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, CU Art Museum, Department of English, Department of History, Department of Theatre & Dance and University Libraries.