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Shakespeare inside and outside Langson Library July 27, 2012

Posted by ucisca in Campus Scenes, Photographs.
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Many of us anxiously await the inaugural New Swan Shakespeare Festival, to be staged adjacent to Langson Library on Gateway Plaza, from August 9 – 26. In the meantime, we would like to point out that Shakespeare’s “First Folio,” one of the rarest items in the UCI Libraries, is housed in Special Collections and Archives on the fifth floor of Langson. The first collected edition of the plays of William Shakespeare, commonly known as “The First Folio,” has long ranked among the most treasured publications in the English language. A fine copy of the first edition was donated to the Libraries in 1986 by Dr. Patrick Hanratty (below), a graduate of the UCI doctoral program in Information and Computer Science. Printed in London in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, the First Folio contains texts of thirty-six of the plays. Half of the plays here had never been printed before and half of the remaining plays appear here in authoritative versions. Only about 240 copies of the First Folio survive today, most held in libraries and other cultural institutions.  Although the 1623 edition of the First Folio is available for viewing by serious researchers in the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room on the fifth floor of Langson Library, our collection also includes quality facsimiles of this edition, which may suffice for most research purposes.

Dr. Patrick Hanratty and the Shakespeare First Folio [AS-061, Box 144]

The New Swan Theater, under construction, outside Langson Library. [Photograph by S. MacLeod]

AS-061. University Communication Photographs. Special Collections and Archives, the U.C. Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Box 144 [Hanratty photograph].

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