Tulane University School of Liberal Arts is honored to have been selected as the state of Louisiana host site for First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, a national traveling exhibition of the Shakespeare First Folio, one of the world’s most treasured books. The exhibition honors Shakespeare in 2016, on the 400th anniversary of his death.
The Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, in partnership with the Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is touring a First Folio of Shakespeare to all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. Published seven years after Shakespeare’s death, in 1623, by two of his fellow actors, the First Folio is one of the most important books ever printed. The volume presents thirty-six of Shakespeare’s plays in a deluxe format. Without the First Folio, we would not have the texts of eighteen of Shakespeare’s plays, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, and As You Like It.
The exhibition will be installed at the Angela Gregory Gallery of the Newcomb Art Museum, on Tulane University’s uptown campus, May 9-31 and is open to the public.



The exhibition at the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane — part of the international events planned for 2016 in observance of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death — will feature a First Folio of Shakespeare open to the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy in Hamlet and, unique to Tulane’s version of the exhibition, a rare quarto of Hamlet on loan from Tulane parent and bibliophile, Stuart Rose. Printed in the large “folio” size, the First Folio is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. It was assembled after Shakespeare’s death in 1616 by two of his fellow actors, John Heminge and Henry Condell, and was published in 1623. The First Folio is the only source for eighteen of Shakespeare’s plays, among these some of his best known and most popular, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, and As You Like It, all of which might otherwise have been lost.

Visitors to the First Folio! exhibition will also have the opportunity to trace, across the Tulane campus, an "archival circuit" of rare materials connected with the history of book publication in Shakespeare's age, in the Howard-Tilton Library Special Collections Department; Shakespeare and race, at the Amistad Research Center; and Shakespeare and gender, at the Newcomb Archives and Vorhoff Library Special Collections Library.

The Folger Shakespeare Library acquired the First Folio that will visit Tulane in 1897 as part of their first acquisition of an extensive Shakespeare collection, the Warwick Castle Library. The Earl of Warwick assembled his library in the mid-nineteenth century with the help of J.O. Halliwell-Phillipps, an important Shakespeare scholar and collector. The touring copy is especially fine because the title and verse page are both original, just as they were printed in 1623. (Many other surviving copies of the First Folio have verse and title pages that are repaired or that have been replaced with facsimiles.) The Folger has in its care eighty-two copies of the First Folio, about a third of those that survive, by far the largest collection of First Folios in the world.

Exhibition Information: Newcomb Art Museum Duration: May 9, 2016 – May 31, 2016
Parking Information


APRIL 23 Tulane in Stratford

The Wendell Brunious Band and Tulane School of Liberal Arts will take part in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon’s and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Shakespeare Anniversary Celebrations.


APRIL 28Ferguson Lecture

The 27th annual Josephine Gessner Ferguson lecture: "Shakespeare in America" featuring James Shapiro (Columbia University), internationally renowned Shakespeare biographer and scholar. Freeman Auditorium, Woldenberg Art Center, 6:00 pm.

MAY 3 - JUNE 4Historic New Orleans Collection Exhibition

“Merry as the Day Is Long”: Shakespeare’s Hand in New Orleans exhibition on view in the Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street, Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30–4:30 pm. Admission to the exhibition is free.


MAY 9 First Folio! Exhibition

The exhibition opens at the Newcomb Art Museum with a Jazz Funeral for Shakespeare, conducted by Michael White and the Liberty Brass Band, 6:30 pm. The First Folio will be on display through May 31, 2016.


MAY 15 High School Teacher Workshop

A workshop for local high school teachers will be conducted on the site of the First Folio exhibition, by Scott Oldenburg (Tulane Associate Professor of English) 1:00-3:00 pm, open by application. To apply, contact the Tulane English Department at


MAY 16 “Sonnets in the Gallery”

A reading of Shakespeare’s love poetry, on the site of the First Folio exhibition, will be hosted by Peter Cooley (Tulane Professor of English and Poet Laureate of the State of Louisiana), 1:00-3:00 pm, open to the public.


MAY 18 Historic New Orleans Collection, Lecture

Public lecture, “All the World’s a Stage”: Shakespeare on the Stages and Streets of New Orleans, by Oliver Hennessey (Professor, English Department, Xavier University), May 18 at 6:00 p.m., WRC, 410 Chartres Street. Admission to the exhibition and the lecture is free.

MAY 20, 21, and 22 "Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender"

Lisa Wolpe, Shakespearean actor and interpreter, will perform her one-person show, “Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender,” in the Lupin Theatre, Tulane Campus, as part of the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane. Ticket information

MAY 22 Family Workshop

A workshop for families will be conducted at the Main Branch, New Orleans Public Library, 219 Loyola Avenue, by Adam McKeown, (Tulane Associate Professor of English), 1:00-3:00 pm, open to the public.

MAY 26 Lecture: "Is Shakespeare Enough?"

Newcomb Art Museum, Tulane University, 6:00 PM. Hillary Eklund, Associate Professor of English, Loyola University. Free and open to the public.


By special invitation from the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, Tulane University's School of Liberal Arts will participate in the 400th Anniversary Celebration of Shakespeare's death. Home of The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and Shakespeare's burial site at Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon will host several events to commemorate the Bard.

On April 23, 2016, Tulane University will bring New Orleans's own unique cultural contribution, a Jazz Funeral, to the anniversary parade in Stratford. Complete with music provided by The Wendell Brunious Band, this special parade will join Stratford's formal procession to honor and remember the greatest playwright and poet the world has known.

Trinity Church, the site of Shakespeare’s tomb, is situated on the banks of the River Avon and dates to the thirteenth century. It is the most visited parish church in England.

According to Bruce Raeburn, Director of the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane and Head of Special Collections in Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, jazz funerals are rooted in West African and European traditions and are “probably the most appropriate way that New Orleans musicians can honor a person of value. They are alternately slow and dirge-like, energetic and celebratory of life."


The School of Liberal Arts at Tulane University is collaborating with a wide range of national, local, and campus organizations in order to celebrate Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death by bringing the First Folio! Exhibition to New Orleans and Louisiana. We wish to acknowledge all of our collaborators:


                   The Historic New Orleans Collection                  


Tulane University’s participation in the Shakespeare Anniversary Celebration and the First Folio! Exhibition has been made possible by a generous gift from Stuart and Mimi Rose and the Stuart Rose Family Foundation.



On Shakespeare, Henry Clay Folger, and the First Folio (1623), see

To view a full digital copy of the First Folio, click here

On the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, its Shakespeare connections, and Trinity Church, the site of Shakespeare’s burial, see

On the sites maintained by and the outreach work of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, see

On Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, reconstructed as “a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work and the playhouse for which he wrote” in London, see