How William Became Shakespeare: Four Hundred Years of the First Folio

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This year commemorates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio, which was the first gathered collection of Shakespeare’s comedies, histories, and tragedies. It was published in 1623, seven years after his death. Without the First Folio, 18 plays, including As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and The Tempest, might have been lost to readers forever. 

This exhibition, co-curated by Special Collections Librarian Cecily Dyer and Shannon Kelley, Ph.D., director of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and associate professor of English, College of Arts and Sciences, Fairfield University, will feature a selection of the Shakespearean collection, donated to the library’s Special Collections in 1974, including its partial First Folio. The exhibition will examine what Shakespeare has meant to readers and scholars over time.

Join us for the following companion events:

Exhibition Opening Reception | Shakespearean Futures Panel Discussion and Keynote Presentation with Historian Stephen Greenblatt, October 5 at 6:00 p.m.

Uncovering Shakespeare Book Club: “We That Are Young” by Preti Tenaja, October 21 at 10:30 a.m.

Ophelia, Juliet, Cleopatra: Shakespeare’s Leading Ladies | Lecture with Shannon Kelley, Ph.D., October 26 at 6:00 p.m.

Shakespeare Adult Learning Series with Shakespeare on the Sound’s John Love, October 10, November 14, December 5, January 9 at 2:00 p.m.

Shakes-Beer Festival, November 5, 4:00 p.m.

“The Tragedie of Macbeth” and the First Folio with Capital Classics Theatre Company, November 11 at 2:00 p.m.

Shylock and Courtesy: The Merchant of Venice, 400 Years Later | Talk with Patricia Wareh, Ph.D, November 16 at 6:00 p.m.

Diane Lowman: Seeing Myself Through Shakespeare’s Life, Jan. 11 at 6:00 p.m.

Pequot Library Presents: Shakespeare Film Festival, Jan. 12 at 6:00 p.m. at Jan. 13 at 2:00 p.m.

Uncovering Shakespeare Book Club: Hamnet, Jan. 20 at 10:30 a.m.

Shakespearewallahs: The Kendals and Shakespeareana in India| A Virtual Conversation with Rochelle Almeida, Feb. 2 at 10:00 a.m.

For children:

The Colorful Characters of Shakespeare from October 15 to November 15 in the Children’s Library

Write Like Shakespeare: Master the Art of Using a Quill, November 8 at 4:30 p.m.

Shakespeare Found Poetry Workshop, October 19 at 4:30 p.m.

ShakesBEARS Puppet Show and Craft, November 18 at 11:00 a.m.

Learn to Juggle, Jan. 13 at 11:00 a.m.

Write Like Shakespeare: Master the Art of Using a Quill, Jan. 17 at 4:30 p.m.


October 5, 2023
February 10
Event Category:


Room Location
May Room, Perkin Gallery