North Carolina Museum of History

Raleigh, N.C. — The N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will host an original 1623 Shakespeare First Folio. Considered one of the most influential books in the world, the First Folio includes 36 of Shakespeare's plays, 18 of which had never been printed before. Without the First Folio, all of those plays — including "Macbeth," "Julius Caesar," "Twelfth Night," "The Tempest," "As You Like It" — might have been lost forever. Compiled by two of his friends and fellow theater colleagues, the First Folio was published seven years after Shakespeare's death in 1616.

Folger Shakespeare Library, which holds 82 copies of the First Folio and is the world's largest Shakespeare collection, is touring a Shakespeare First Folio to all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. The N.C. Museum of History is the only stop on the tour in North Carolina.
The 1623 book will be on view in the exhibit First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare from Saturday, May 7, through Monday, May 30, at the N.C. Museum of History. It will be opened to the most quoted line from Shakespeare, "to be or not to be" from "Hamlet." Accompanying the 1623 book will be a six colorful panels exploring Shakespeare's impact, then and now. Admission is free. To find out more about the exhibit, visit www.wonderofwill.folger.edu.

"The North Carolina Museum of History is honored to have been selected to host the First Folio along with only 52 other institutions across the country and to connect more Americans with Shakespeare's work," said Ken Howard, Museum Director. "The museum also will offer free educational programs for children and adults to complement the exhibit."

When the tour was announced, Michael Witmore, Director of Folger Shakespeare Library, noted, "Shakespeare is one of the greatest storytellers of all time. His characters are familiar to us, and his words still excite artists, scholars and audiences around the globe. He connects us to each other, to our history and to the themes and ideas that touch us every day. Shakespeare's world is our world, and it is vast. We hope this exhibit invites everyone to come explore."

The First Folio! national tour is part of the Folger Shakespeare Library's 2016 Wonder of Will celebration of 400 years of Shakespeare. The exhibit is produced in association with the American Library Association and Cincinnati Museum Center. First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor, and by the support of Google.org, Vinton and Sigrid Cerf, the British Council and other generous donors.

For information about the N.C. Museum of History, a Smithsonian-affiliated museum, call 919-807-7900 or access www.ncmuseumofhistory.org or follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or YouTube.

About the N.C. Museum of History
The N.C. Museum of History is located at 5 E. Edenton Street in downtown Raleigh. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The museum collects and preserves artifacts of North Carolina history and educates the public on the history of the state and the nation through exhibits and educational programs. Each year more than 300,000 people visit the museum to see some of the 150,000 artifacts in the museum collection. The Museum of History, within the Division of State History Museums, is part of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

About the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call 919-807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.

About Folger Shakespeare Library
Folger Shakespeare Library is the world's largest Shakespeare collection, the ultimate resource for exploring Shakespeare and his world. The Folger welcomes millions of visitors online and in person and provide unparalleled access to a huge array of resources, from original sources to modern interpretations. With the Folger, you can experience the power of performance, the wonder of exhibitions, and the excitement of path-breaking research. We offer the opportunity to see and work with early modern sources, driving discovery and transforming education for students of all ages.

Shakespeare's world is vast. Come explore. Join the Folger online, on the road, or in
Washington, D.C. Learn more at www.folger.edu.

Partners in the First Folio! exhibition include:
About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the
American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of only 16 museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation's 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater, and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually. For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org.

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. Additional information can be found at www.ala.org/programming.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the
Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.

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  • 5 East Edenton Street
  • Raleigh, NC 27601

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