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Shakespeare Collection

1,400 items (dispersed).

The Library's collection of Shakespeariana is particularly rich. All four Shakespeare Folios are present, published in 1623, 1632, 1664 and 1685, together with many 19th- and 20th-century facsimiles of the First Folio including Wright's type facsimile of 1808 and Staunton's first photo-lithographic facsimile of 1866.

The First Folio is interesting as being the actual copy used by Theobald in 1733 in preparation of his edition of Shakespeare's works.

Of even greater interest is the copy of Mr Shakespeare's Sonnets (1609), with the variant imprint, and the contemporary price of 5d marked on the title page.

Lord Spencer's grangerized copy of the plays of Shakespeare, edited by Samuel Johnson and George Steevens in 1793, was formerly Steevens's own copy which he enriched by the insertion of several thousand engravings of great rarity.

The entire publishing history of Shakespeare is represented in the Library's collections, with deluxe and illustrated editions, modern texts and critical works.

Finding aids

Recorded in general printed-book catalogue.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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