A committee of English professors were instrumental in attracting William Shakespeare's "First Folio" to the University of Virginia. Eighteen of Shakespeare's plays are known today only because they were included in the “First Folio,” among them “Macbeth,” “Twelfth Night,” “Julius Caesar,” “As You Like It” and “The Tempest." One of the most famous books in the world, the collection of plays will be on view at U.Va. – the only location in the commonwealth – as part of a 2016 national traveling exhibition, “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare.” The Folger Shakespeare Library Association, in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is taking the tour to all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico in 2016, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
A committee of U.Va. English professors submitted the successful proposal to host the exhibition for the commonwealth of Virginia. Katharine Maus chairs the group, which comprises Victor Luftig, Michael Suarez, David Vander Meulen, and Paul Cantor. The committee worked with Eliza Gilligan, Debra Guy, Hoke Perkins, Mercy Procaccini, Molly Schwartzburg, and David Whitesell of the U.Va. Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, plus U.Va.’s Center for the Liberal Arts and the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, to land the exhibit.