This project was made possible with the generous support of the institutions listed below, each of whom have provided access to their digitised First Folios. Read on to learn more about each of the contributing partners.
Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections
Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections is one of New Zealand's key research destinations. It was originally established when Sir George Grey, the 19th-century Governor of New Zealand, gifted his significant collection to the city of Auckland in the 1880s and has continued to grow since this time.
The collections include photographs, maps, oral histories, manuscripts and archives, rare books and medieval manuscripts, ephemera and music; as well as Māori and Pacific heritage collections in all formats.
The Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford is the largest university library system in the United Kingdom. It includes the principal University library – the Bodleian Library – which has been a legal deposit library for 400 years, as well as 26 libraries across Oxford. Together, the Libraries hold more than 13 million printed items, over 80,000 e-journals, and outstanding special collections including rare books and manuscripts, classical papyri, maps, music, art and printed ephemera.
Boston Public Library
Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library is a pioneer of public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. As a City of Boston historic cultural institution, Boston Public Library today features a central library and twenty-five neighborhood branches, serving nearly 4 million visitors per year and millions more online.
Brandeis was established in 1948 by the American Jewish community at a time when Jews and other ethnic and racial minorities, and women, faced discrimination in higher education. The Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections Department, within the Brandeis Library, houses Brandeis University’s unique and rare primary sources. Holdings include rare books and original manuscripts spanning the last 1900 years, including the founding documents of the University; incunabula; materials related to World Wars I and II and the Holocaust, Shakespeare, 20th-century figures such as Louis Brandeis, Lenny Bruce, and Joseph Heller; Judaica and Jewish feminism; and much more.
Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries
The Grosvenor Room at Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries houses the Special Collections department at the downtown Central Library. The nearly 500,000 titles of unique and varied materials support the five collections of Local History, Genealogy, Maps, Music and Rare Books. The Rare Books Collections holds titles of local, national and international importance including Mark Twain’s original manuscript of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Shakespeare’s First through Fourth Folios, the complete Audubon Birds of America elephant folio, the Milestones of Science Collection of 197 first editions of the world’s most significant scientific discoveries, an anti-slavery collection, and other manuscripts and archives. Exhibits curated by Special Collections department highlight materials from the Library’s rare collections and are free and open to the public year-round.
Craven Museum & Gallery
Craven Museum and Gallery, located in Skipton, cares for around 60,000 objects representing millions of years of Craven history. This includes archaeology, geology, social history, textiles, artwork and ephemera. Collection highlights include Shakespeare’ First Folio, furniture made by craftsman Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson, the diary of a local cotton weaver, agricultural equipment, archaeology from Craven’s caves and the Roebuck art collection.
Dulwich College was founded in 1619 by the great actor, impresario and philanthropist Edward Alleyn. As part of his legacy the College houses a world renowned archive relating to the Rose Theatre, Bankside and theatrical activity in London in the early modern period.
Today Dulwich College is an academically selective boys’ independent school in south London. The College has a long-standing reputation for producing some of the finest actors, sportsmen and writers.
Durham University’s archives and special collections are housed at Palace Green Library. A highlight is Bishop John Cosin's Library, including his copy of the Shakespeare First Folio. These collections represent a rich resource for learning, teaching and research, and form part of the cultural heritage of Durham and its World Heritage Site.
Folger Shakespeare Library
Folger Shakespeare Library is the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the ultimate resource for exploring Shakespeare and his world. Visitors to the Folger’s historic building in Washington, DC (reopening in fall 2023) will be able to see 82 First Folios in the new exhibition galleries.
Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections collects, preserves, and makes available materials which serve the research and teaching needs of the Haverford and scholarly communities. Highlights include the world-renowned Quaker collections, illuminating Quaker daily life, faith, and practice; British and American literature; social movements such as abolition; and photography.
John Rylands Research Institute and Library
The John Rylands Research Institute and Library promotes world-leading research using the unique special collections of The University of Manchester.
Located in the heart of Manchester city centre, we are a dynamic community of exceptional scholars and specialists, focused on a core mission to define the human experience over five millennia.
King’s College, Cambridge
King's College, Cambridge has had a library since the college’s foundation in 1441. Previously it was a chained library, but today is housed in a building dating from 1828. The library contains thousands of rare books, manuscripts and antiquarian music, including copies of Shakespeare’s First, Second and Fourth Folios
The Library of Birmingham
The Library of Birmingham provides a showcase for Birmingham's internationally important collections of archives, photography and rare books. The First Folio is part of the Library of Birmingham’s Shakespeare collection. This was founded in 1864 as the first great Shakespeare Library in the world, and was expressly established for the use of all citizens.
National Library of Scotland
The National Library of Scotland is a major European research library and one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Scotland and the Scots – an information treasure trove for Scotland’s knowledge, history and culture. Including more than 40 million physical items, the Library’s collections are of international importance.
Royal Shakespeare Company
The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre opened on their site next to the River Avon in 1879, after local brewer, Charles Flower donated the land and launched a campaign to build a theatre in the town of Shakespeare's birth. The theatre was rebuilt in 1932 after a fire, then in 1961 became the Royal Shakespeare Theatre when the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) was founded by Peter Hall.
The Saint-Omer Library
The Saint-Omer Library was created as a public service in 1793 and opened its doors in 1805. It currently occupies part of the premises of the former Jesuit College of Saint-Omer, and houses a public library and a heritage collection composed of ancients books and archives. To this day, it contains more than 1000 manuscripts, the oldest of which date back to the 9th century, 211 incunabula, and more than 11,000 modern printed works.
Shakespeare’s Globe is a world-renowned performing arts venue, cultural attraction and education centre located on the bank of the River Thames in London. Research is at the heart of what we do, and our Library & Archive Collections form a unique resource for scholars and learners at all levels. We aim to be an impactful, diverse, inclusive and welcoming space for enquiry, practice and knowledge exchange.
State Library of New South Wales
The State Library of NSW is Australia's oldest library with a history dating back to 1826. The Library's renowned heritage and contemporary collections, including works of literary genius, exploration and scientific breakthrough, are full of extraordinary stories which fire our imagination.
Trinity College Dublin
The Library’s history dates back to the establishment of the College in 1592 and it is the largest library in Ireland. Today it has over 6 million printed volumes with extensive collections of journals, manuscripts, maps and music reflecting over 400 years of academic development. The Library supports the learning and research needs across all disciplines of the College and is a major research library of international repute.
University of British Columbia
Collections – both physical and digital – are at the core of UBC Library’s mission. With more than nine million items in its digital and print collections, the Library is a vital support for research, learning and teaching excellence at UBC.
The University and City Library of Cologne
The University and City Library of Cologne is one of the largest scientific libraries in Germany. It provides members of the university and the citizens of Cologne with literature, current information media and a rich collection of historically valuable holdings. In addition to the services for research and teaching, the University and City Library presents a variety of events such as exhibitions, panel discussions and readings.
University of Leeds Libraries
Established in 1904, the University of Leeds is one of the largest universities in the UK. They’re part of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities and are renowned globally for the quality of our research and teaching.
University of Toronto
Württemberg State Library
The Württemberg State Library (Stuttgart, Germany) is the largest academic library in Baden-Württemberg. The WLB is the foremost institution for regional and supra-regional information and literature supply in Baden-Württemberg. More than 6 million media items are held ready in its stacks and reading rooms for research, teaching, further vocational training and general education. These include books, newspapers and journals, manuscripts, rare books, music scores, as well as maps, prints, posters, letters from the front, photographs, microforms and electronic media. Over 1 million media items are borrowed per year. It enjoys a reputation as both a lively centre of learning and as an active cultural institution far beyond the Stuttgart region.
Thank you also to the institutions who generously supplied metadata and IIIF Manifests to their copies:
- Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
- Fondation Bodmer
- Carnegie Mellon University Libraries
- Miami University Libraries
- Yale University Library