Opening Reception: The First Folio: Shakespeare for All Time?

Event time: 
Thursday, September 28, 2023 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Sterling Memorial Library (SML) See map
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

Opening remarks by the curator, followed by an informal reception, to celebrate the opening of a new exhibit in Hanke Exhibition Gallery, located in the nave of Sterling Memorial Library.

This exhibit celebrates a portion of the Elizabethan Club’s rare book collections, largely assembled in the early 1910s by Alexander Smith Cochran, BA 1896, a young alumnus inspired by the Shakespeare lectures he attended while a student at Yale.

The exhibit constellates around William Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623) but tells a broader story, foregrounding early modern printers, 20th-century bibliographers, and booksellers today.

The First Folio established Shakespeare’s iconic status, but its longer history reminds us that Shakespeare’s position as valuable cultural property today—with early editions that can sell for exorbitant sums—was not necessarily inevitable.

Eve Houghton, PhD Candidate, Yale Department of English