The University Libraries and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (B&ECPL) commemorated the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death with a Wedding of the Folios on October 4, 2016. This unique event celebrated the fact that Buffalo’s two complete sets of Shakespeare Folios are displayed together for the first time as part of the public library’s exhibition, Celebrating 400 Years of Shakespeare: Reflecting on the Life of the Bard.
“For a city to have two complete sets in public institutions is quite unique,” noted Michael Basinski, curator of the UB Libraries Poetry Collection. “Bringing these collections together shows the great depth and significance of our cultural heritage and proves that Buffalo is an art capital, especially for literature.”
Published between 1623 and 1685, after the playwright’s death, the Folios are credited with preserving many of Shakespeare’s plays, which otherwise would have been lost. Each Folio contains varied markings and modifications, and by displaying them together, the public has an opportunity to see these differences.
UB’s Folios were a gift to the University Libraries from Thomas B. Lockwood, a collector of rare books and benefactor of the university’s original Lockwood Memorial Library. The treasured volumes traveled to the public library in a vintage Pierce Arrow motorcar, courtesy of the Buffalo Pierce-Arrow Transportation Museum. The late Col. Charles Clifton (1853-1947), president and CEO of Pierce-Arrow Motors, was the donor of the public library’s Folio set.