The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library presents Mondays at Beinecke:
“The First Folio: Shakespeare for All Time? with Eve Houghton and Basie Gitlin.”
An introduction to the new exhibition, “The First Folio: Shakespeare for All Time?” on view from August 21, 2023 to February 4, 2024, in the Hanke Gallery 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.
Mondays at Beinecke online talks focus on materials from the collections and include an opening presentation at 4pm followed by conversation and question and answer beginning about 4:30pm until 5pm.