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First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare
On tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library
April 9 – May 1, 2016
The Durham Museum is delighted to exhibit an original 1623 First Folio from the Folger Shakespeare Library as part of the First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare nationwide tour. This first-ever national tour of one of the world’s most influential books celebrates 400 years of Shakespeare and his legacy. The Durham is the only location in Nebraska for the First Folio! tour. Considered one of the most influential books in the world, The First Folio is the first complete collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, published in 1623, seven years after his death. Compiled by two of Shakespeare’s friends and fellow theater colleagues, it preserves 36 of Shakespeare’s plays. Without it, we would not have 18 of those works, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest and Antony and Cleopatra. The First Folio will be opened to the most quoted line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “to be or not to be.”

In conjunction with the traveling exhibition from the Folger Shakespeare Library, The Durham Museum will also exhibit, A Thing Inspired: The Enduring Legacy of William Shakespeare, featuring some never-before-seen pieces from The Durham Museum’s Byron Reed Collection. A Thing Inspired draws objects and documents from the collection including a later edition of the Folio published in 1876 that speaks to the popularity of Shakespeare’s works, and also shows how later editors tried to change or “enhance” his plays.

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, is a national traveling exhibition organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, and produced in association with the American Library Association and the Cincinnati Museum Center. First Folio! has been 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, the British Council, and other generous donors.



Exhibition and associated educational programming supported locally by



 First Folio Facts

  • The title page of the First Folio includes a portraitof Shakespeare, commissioned by those who knew him and one of only two authentic likenesses of the author.
  • The First Folio is one of the most valuable printed books in the world today; one sold for $6.2 million in 2001 at Christie’s. Originally the folios sold for one British pound (20 shillings)—about $250 today.
  • The First Folio is about 900 pages long and on average each page is more than a foot tall.
  • About 750 copies of the 1623 First Folio of Shakespeare were printed, but less than a third (233 copies) are known today.
  • The Folger Shakespeare Library holds 82 First Folios–the largest collection in the world.
  • The First Folio exhibition will tour all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico during 2016.

First Folio Educational Programming
Opening Day
Saturday, April 9

*Up Close Tour – 9AM

Director’s Reading of The Two Noble Kinsmen – 3PM

Join us as we celebrate the opening of the First Folio exhibit! Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the exhibit and Nebraska Shakespeare’s multi-media staged director’s reading of The Two Noble Kinsmen. Thee won’t wanteth to miss out!



*Shakespeare’s First Folio – and the First Folio’s Shakespeare

Presented by Dr. Stephen M. Buhler
Tuesday, April 19, 6:30PM
Stanley and Dorothy Truhlsen Lecture Hall

Half of the plays that we know Shakespeare wrote we have only because of his partners in the King’s Men theatrical company. The First Folio is commonly known as “The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare,” but what might we think of Shakespeare if we had only the plays that were published individually during his lifetime? What do the additional plays that appear in the First Folio contribute to his achievements? What does the First Folio, as a single volume, contribute to his legacy? In this illustrated lecture, Dr. Stephen Buhler will consider the difference the First Folio has made over the centuries in our ideas, imaginings and understandings of William Shakespeare, the writer and the person.

Stephen M. Buhler is the Aaron Douglas Professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he teaches courses on Shakespeare and other writers of the English Renaissance. He is the author of Shakespeare in the Cinema: Ocular Proof, along with numerous articles and book chapters on the literary culture of Early Modern England and its connections with philosophy and the performing arts. Previously Director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies program at UNL and research fellow at the Huntington and Folger Shakespeare Libraries, he is also co-founder and Education Director of the Flatwater Shakespeare Company, based in Lincoln, with which he has served as dramaturg, composer, sound designer and (occasionally) actor.

*Space is limited on this tour (25) so please make reservations by calling 402-444-5071 or email reservations@DurhamMuseum.org.


Much Ado About Shakespeare
Saturday, April 23, 1-3:30PM
The Durham Museum is partnering with Nebraska Shakespeare to bring you Much Ado About Shakespeare, in honor of William Shakespeare’s birthday! The party starts with free birthday cake in the Swanson Gallery from 1-2PM. Then, join Nebraska Shakespeare for workshops in stage combat, sonnet writing and Shakespearean dress in the Stanley and Dorothy Truhlsen Lecture Hall from 2-3PM. Cap off the day with “Shakespeare and the Power of Language,” a presentation by local playwright, Ellen Struve.

About Folger Shakespeare Library
Folger Shakespeare Library is the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the ultimate resource for exploring Shakespeare and his world. The Folger welcomes millions of visitors online and in person. We provide unparalleled access to a huge array of resources, from original sources to modern interpretations. With the Folger, you can experience the power of performance, the wonder of exhibitions, and the excitement of path-breaking research. We offer the opportunity to see and work with early modern sources, driving discovery and transforming education for students of all ages. Shakespeare’s world is vast. Come explore. Join us online, on the road, or in Washington, DC. Learn more at www.folger.edu

Partners in this exhibition include:

About Cincinnati Museum Center

Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight, and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of only 16 museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater, and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually. For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. Additional information can be found at www.ala.org/programming

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov