This August, the UCI Libraries will host its summer favorite – First Folio Fridays!
Since 2014, First Folio Friday events have explored Shakespeare works and history with a steadily growing community of Shakespeare enthusiasts. At these events, guests hear from esteemed speakers on select Shakespearean plays, the meaning and history of a folio, and get an exclusive, in-person look at the UCI Libraries’ copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio.
The First Folio is one of the very first collections of drama printed in the folio format. The folio was commissioned by two of Shakespeare's principal actors, John Heminge and Henry Condell, shortly after Shakespeare's death. At the time it was printed, folio format was reserved for law and religious texts. The folio has preserved over 18 of Shakespeare's plays. Many of Shakespeare’s original plays were never published, and if they were, often illicitly and with a variety of errors. This folio preserved many plays that would have been otherwise lost.
On August 9, 2019, Julia Lupton, Professor of English, Associate Dean for Research, School of Humanities and Co-Director of the UCI Shakespeare Center, will discuss the two plays that will be performed at the New Swan Shakespeare Festival this summer, The Merchant of Venice and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Lupton will also discuss the folio’s publication history.
On August 23, 2019, Andrea Mays, author of “The Millionaire and the Bard: Henry Folger’s Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare’s First Folio,” plans to highlight innovations in publishing that took place with the publishing of the Folio and may focus on the novelties of our copy of the Folio as well.
Afterwards Derek Quezada, Outreach and Public Services Librarian, will discuss the themes of both plays and UCI Libraries collection of Shakespeariana. Attendees will also view the First Folio up-close.
The Libraries' extends gratitude to Professor Julia Lupton for her continued partnership on the annual First Folio Fridays. This event is co-sponsored by the UCI Libraries, UCI School of Humanities and the New Swan Shakespeare Festival.