Original Shakespeare “First Folio” Coming to Missoula
Next year, an original copy of Shakespeare's First Folio, one of the most important works of literature, will be in Montana, but people who want to see it will have to make their way to Missoula.
“We are extremely excited to partner with the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library and so many fine organizations to celebrate the extraordinary contributions Shakespeare made to mankind,” said Barbara Koostra, Montana Museum of Arts And Culture director. “The exhibit promises exceptional cultural opportunities for our state.”
University of Montana Associate Professor Julie Edwards, said that only one location in Montana was chosen.
"They're touring a copy of Shakespeare's first folio to all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico in 2016, which marks the 400-year anniversary since Shakespeare's death," Edwards said. "Every state had one site chosen and so we are the site chosen for Montana. We are really, really pleased and proud that we are going to be hosting it on campus."
The Montana Museum of Art and Culture will have the folio on display from May 9th through the 31st of 2016. Edwards said there are only about 200 known copies left in the world and highlighted its importance.
"His fellow actors got together and put together the copies of these plays and that was the first folio," Edwards said. "What makes it unique and really important in terms of literary and cultural history is that without it, there are 18 plays that we would not have known about. Those include classics Macbeth, Julius Caesar, the Tempest."
The first folio, officially titled Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, originally sold for a single pound when it was first published in 1623. In 2006, a copy sold for 2.5 million pounds, that’s more than three million eight hundred thousand dollars.