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Senate House Library First Folio exhibited at Christie’s


Senate House Library is delighted to announce the loan of one of our copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio to a current exhibition at Christie’s. 

Shakespeare 1st Folio

Christie’s celebrates 400 years of Shakespeare’s First Folio with a special exhibition uniquely bringing together six rarely seen copies from British private and institutional libraries. No other exhibition in the UK has ever displayed so many copies. The First Folio is one of the most important publications of all time. It is the first edition of the collected plays of William Shakespeare, and it preserves 18 of his plays which would otherwise have been lost.  

Each surviving copy tells its own story, and the exhibition not only celebrates the original publication but also the after-life of individual copies and the vicissitudes of Shakespeare across the centuries.  

Among those on display will be the Arundel Castle copy, courtesy of the Duke of Norfolk - one of only five complete copies in private hands; the Senate House Library copy, which was the first copy in America, and part of our Sterling Collection; and others from private collections across Britain.

The exhibition at Christie's is free and open to the public from 2 to 26 May 2023.