An exhibition exploring the world-class Shakespeare collections held at NLS and the University of Edinburgh, which ran at National Library of Scotland from 9 December 2011 to 29 April 2012.
Curated by James Loxley and Helen Vincent (Senior Curator of Rare Books, NLS), and based on a three-year research project supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the exhibition showcased items from the extraordinarily rich holdings of Shakespearean material now in two key Scottish libraries.
It looked in detail at the lives and activities of those who have helped to bring these collections to their current homes, and examined the range of ways in which readers, writers, collectors and scholars have interacted with Shakespeare’s work over the centuries.
It also asked what Shakespeare has meant to some of his Scottish readers, in particular, and what it means for these exceptional collections to be preserved in the capital of a country where ‘the bard’ means someone else.
Visitors were able to see a range of unique manuscripts and rare printed books from the 16th to the 20th centuries, send their friends and family a Shakespearean postcard, and put their own mark on Shakespeare’s writing with magnetic sonnets, rubber-stamp poetry and the chance to design a character’s costume.
The project also created resources for teachers and schools, and a web feature in which you can browse treasures from the collections, learn more about the collectors who brought them together, and make your very own Shakespeare scrapbook.
This article was published on May 30, 2013