Release Date: October 3, 2016
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Buffalo has much to boast about these days, though most residents may not realize that two complete sets of the rare and treasured folios of William Shakespeare – the very first printings of his transformative canon of plays – are held in public trust by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (B&ECPL) and the University at Buffalo.
This four-edition set of folios – published in 1623, 1632, 1663 and 1685 after Shakespeare’s death – are credited with preserving many of the plays known so well worldwide as theatre and literature, which otherwise would likely have been lost.
A “wedding of the folios” media event, which brings together these two four-volume sets for public display for the first time, will take place at the Downtown Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 2 p.m.
Officials from Special Collections of the UB Libraries will escort the UB-owned folios to the Downtown Central Library via a glorious vintage Pierce Arrow motor car courtesy of the Buffalo Pierce Arrow Transportation Museum – an homage to Col. Charles Clifton, president and CEO of Pierce-Arrow Motors, the donor of the B&ECPL folio set. UB’s folios were a gift from Buffalo businessman and lawyer, Thomas B. Lockwood.
The folios will be jointly displayed in the library’s main floor Rare Book Room through January 2017.
In addition, the B&ECPL and UB Libraries are collaborating on a special celebration of the folios called the “Shakespeare Jubilee” at the Downtown Central Library on Thursday, Oct. 13, from 5-7 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public. Student performance excerpts of Shakespeare’s plays by the UB Department of Theatre and Dance – from upcoming productions of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Return from the Forbidden Planet” – and community youth development organization Peace of the City's “Shakespeare Comes to the (716)” are featured. UB English professor, author and David Garrick scholar Andrew Stott will serve as master of ceremonies.
Tours of the folios display and the B&ECPL’s ongoing Milestones of Science: Books that Shook the World exhibition will take place throughout the evening. This celebration bookends the Shakespeare’s Birthday event held at the Downtown Central Library on April 23, and is a featured event of the UB-sponsored conference, Object and Adaptation: The Worlds of Shakespeare and Cervantes, held from October 13-14.
For more information, visit the B&ECPL at www.BuffaloLib.org or call 716-858-8900.