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Industry: Exhibitions       

Exclusive New Hampshire and Boston Area Exhibition Venue

(TRAVPR.COM) USA - April 24th, 2015 -

  Manchester, NH – Imagine a world without the immortal words “To be or not to be” or “Beware the Ides of March.” The book that saved many of William Shakespeare’s greatest plays from being forever lost will be on view at the Currier Museum of Art, April 9, 2016 to May 1, 2016. First Folio: The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare will bring one of the remaining copies of this important historic publication to the Currier as its exclusive New Hampshire and Boston-area venue.

“After nearly 400 years the First Folio is still revealing its secrets to us, and this is a rare opportunity to see it first-hand,” said Meghan Petersen, Currier librarian and archivist. “Shakespeare is a household name, but how the First Folio came to be is less well known. In the age of the e-book, I think it is a particularly interesting time to explore the concept of the printed book as an artifact.”

The Currier is proud to have worked with our academic partners, St. Anselm College, University of Massachusetts Lowell; University of New Hampshire, Durham and University of New Hampshire, Manchester. A higher education committee, chaired by Douglas Lanier, professor of English and director of the University of New Hampshire London Program provided invaluable leadership and support in our effort to secure this treasure for our regional audience.

Many of Shakespeare's plays were written to be performed and were not published during his lifetime. The First Folio came out in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death and represents the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. Two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors compiled 36 of his plays, hoping to preserve them for future generations. Eighteen of these plays would have been lost if not for the First Folio, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors and As You Like It.

“Shakespeare tells the human story like no one else,” said Michael Witmore, director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. “He connects us to each other, to our history, and to themes and ideas that touch us every day.”

About the Exhibition

When the First Folio arrives in Manchester, its pages will be opened to one of the most quoted lines in the world, “To be or not to be,” from Hamlet. Accompanying the rare book will be a multi-panel exhibition exploring Shakespeare’s significance, then and now, with interactive programs. The Currier and its partner institutions are planning numerous programs for the public and families in connection with the First Folio exhibition. These will be announced at a later date at

The exhibition is coordinated by the Folger Shakespeare Library in partnership with the Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association. During 2016, a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio will be on view in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico for one month in each location. 

The Folger Shakespeare Library holds 82 copies of the First Folio, by far the largest collection in the world, representing more than one-third of the 233 known copies in the world today. It is believed that 750 copies were originally printed.

One of the most valuable printed books in the world; a First Folio sold for $6.2 million in 2001 at Christie’s and another one for $5.2 million in 2006 in London. It originally sold for one British pound—about $200 today.

General Information

About Currier Museum of Art

The Currier welcomes visitors with disabilities and special needs. We are wheelchair accessible and offer FM headsets for sound amplification at many public programs. For more information, visit or call 603.669.6144, x108.

The Currier Art Center offers studio classes, art camps, Master classes and intensive workshops for all ages. The Museum also owns the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House, complete with the original furnishings and the owners' fine art collection.


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