U.S. Donor Pledges Collection Including Shakespeare Folios to Shakespeare's Globe

By: Nov. 06, 2008
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Last night, Thursday 6 November 2008, at an event at the New York General Consul, Sir Alan Collin's residence, private collector, John Wolfson, pledged his priceless collection of early play texts, including Shakespeare quarto and folio editions to Shakespeare's Globe, London.

The substantial, world class collection that has been built up since the 1970s contains Restoration adaptations, Shakespeare sources, 16th, 17th and 18th century play texts and Shakespeare first, second, third and fourth folios. Essentially, the play texts are returning to the theatre that they were written for or inspired by.

John Wolfson said: "I have always been interested in the Globe Theatre's library for selfish reasons - because I have known that one day I would have to deal with the vexing question that every collector faces sooner or later: What will ultimately happen to my collection? What happens to most collections, unfortunately, is that they get broken up. Having witnessed the break up of many collections, I consider myself fortunate to have found a place as appropriate for my books as Shakespeare's Globe. For here it will be possible for the collection which I have put together, to remain together, and to be used to great advantage by students, scholars and educators for generations to come."

Peter Kyle, Chief Executive of Shakespeare's Globe, said: "We are delighted and privileged that John Wolfson has bequeathed his wonderful collection to us. Shakespeare's Globe is internationally recognised as a first point of reference for the teaching, research and interpretation of Shakespeare in performance. We are running a fundraising campaign for a new library to appropriately store and give access to these rare books to the wider world."

The library and team of academic researchers at the Globe are currently housed in temporary accommodation which will be converted into a new research centre, library and archive. Fundraising for this centre was the aim of yesterday's event and continues the excellent network of support and international scholarly engagement that was set up by the founder of Shakespeare's Globe, American actor and director Sam Wanamaker.

The new library will be of immense benefit to the undergraduates, MA and PhD students already studying at Shakespeare's Globe and will draw even more Shakespeare scholars from around the world to the Globe for research seminars and conferences where they will share discoveries with theatre practitioners.

For more information visit http://www.shakespeares-globe.org/


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