UM to Exhibit Shakespeare’s First Folio in May 2016

May 20, 2015

Title page with Droeshout engraving of Shakespeare. Shakespeare First Folio, 1623. Folger Shakespeare Library.

MISSOULA – The University of Montana, recently named Montana’s host for the “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare,” national tour, is pleased to announce that the First Folio exhibition will be on display in the Montana Museum of Art and Culture and open to the public May 9-31, 2016.

“We are extremely excited to partner with the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library and so many fine organizations to celebrate the extraordinary contributions Shakespeare made to mankind,” said Barbara Koostra, MMAC director. “The exhibit promises exceptional cultural opportunities for our state.”

The First Folio is the first complete collected edition of William Shakespeare’s plays, published in 1623, seven years after his death. Compiled by two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors, it preserves 36 of Shakespeare’s plays. Without it, we would not have 18 of those plays, including “Macbeth,” “Julius Caesar,” “Twelfth Night,” “The Tempest” and “Antony and Cleopatra.”

The MMAC will be the only location in Montana to display the folio during its tour around the country. Koostra is hopeful students and groups from around the state will make the trip to see the historical artifact during its stay in Missoula.

“We are thrilled we will be able to showcase the folio on campus in May 2016,” said Julie Biando Edwards, an associate professor at the Mansfield Library. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the community. We’re especially pleased that parents and families visiting for graduation will be able to see it.”

UM and its partners will offer related programming while the First Folio is on campus, including an opening reception at the MMAC; lectures by UM English Professor John Hunt and Penn State Professor Emerita Linda Woodbridge on “Shakespeare, Jonson and Literary Immortality” and “The First Folio: What it Means, What it Means;” Montana Public Radio programming related to Shakespeare; the Missoula Children’s Theatre program “Versed in Verse” for students in grades 9-12; programs and art activities from the Children’s Museum Missoula; Montana Association of Teachers of English Language Arts’ professional development workshop for pre-service and experienced teachers; and the Missoula Writing Collaborative’s writing workshop for ages 8-14.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the library, in collaboration with MMAC and other cultural institutions in Montana, to bring this exceptional educational event to the UM campus and the community,” said Shali Zhang, Mansfield Library dean. “We are looking forward to the opening of the exhibit in May 2016.”

The Folger Shakespeare Library holds 82 copies of the First Folio, the largest collection in the world, and more than a third of the 233 known copies. It is believed that 750 copies originally were printed. The library, in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is exhibiting the folio in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico in 2016.


About Folger Shakespeare Library

Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-renowned center for scholarship, learning, culture and the arts. It is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and a primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period (1500-1750). The Folger is an internationally recognized research library offering advanced scholarly programs in the humanities, an innovator in the preservation of rare materials, a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K–12, and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs – theater, music, poetry, exhibits, lectures and family programs. Learn more at

About Cincinnati Museum Center

Cincinnati Museum Center 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

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 ALA 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.

ALA’s Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help thousands of librarians nationwide develop and host cultural programs for adult, young adult and family audiences. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to promote cultural programming as an essential part of library service in all types of libraries. Projects include book and film discussion series, literary and cultural programs featuring authors and artists, professional development opportunities and traveling exhibitions. School, public, academic and special libraries nationwide benefit from the office’s programming initiatives. Additional information can be found at

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

Contact: Julie Biando Edwards, associate professor, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, 406-243-4505,; Barbara Koostra, director, Montana Museum of Art & Culture, 406-243-2019,; Brandon Reintjes, curator of art, MMAC, 406-243-2019,