Exhibit | 400 Years of Shakespeare’s First Folio

RxEAD exhibit graphic showing a abstract human torso

Published in 1623, Shakespeare’s First Folio was a landmark of printing at the time and, as of 2020, is the most expensive piece of literature ever auctioned. Printed seven years after Shakespeare’s death, the First Folio was the first compilation of his plays, 18 of which had never been published before.

In celebration of the First Folio’s 400th anniversary, this exhibit delves into what makes the First Folio so treasured, with special attention paid to the copy housed in the UCI Libraries Special Collections and Archives. 400 Years of Shakespeare’s First Folio explores the diverse influences Shakespeare drew from in the late Renaissance as well as his contributions to the English language and far-reaching impact on the visual arts. Incorporating four centuries of rare books and artwork, the exhibit traces the growing recognition of his genius and his rise in popularity both in England and around the globe.

Curated by Derek Quezada, Rare Books Librarian at USC

Edited by Christina Acevedo and Cheryl Baltes

Designed by Allan Helmick, Sylvia Irving, and Luisa Lee


Downloadable Exhibit Record

Visitor Information

400 Years of Shakespeare’s First Folio was on display in the Langson Library May through December 2023.

Your Support Makes These Exhibits Possible

UCI Libraries' Exhibits Program promotes the diverse holdings and scholarly and cultural value of the Libraries' collections to the campus and community. For more information about special sponsorship opportunities, or to make a transformational gift to support special projects related to the exhibit please contact UCI Libraries Associate Director of Development, Angelica Vogel, at givetolib@uci.edu.