We are very pleased to announce a new online exhibit from the Special Collections Library: Shakespeare on Page and Stage: A Celebration. It is a virtual record of the physical exhibit that took place in the Audubon Room of the Hatcher Library from January 11 to April 27, 2016. As the title playfully suggests, the exhibit is a historical journey through different versions of Shakespeare’s plays as they were edited for publication or interpreted for the stage. Starting with the Second Folio (1632), our online display includes a selection of landmark editions by authors and scholars like John Dryden, Nicholas Rowe, Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, and Edmond Malone. It explores the staging and costuming of productions such as Charles Kean’s archaeologically informed, elaborately costumed 1856 production of The Winter’s Tale, and the Maurice Browne & Ellen Van Volkenburg 1930 production of Othello, casting Paul Robeson as the first black actor to play Othello on the London stage in almost a century.
Most of the titles in this exhibit come from the McMillan Shakespeare Library. Materials are also displayed from the Maurice Browne and Ellen Van Volkenburg Papers, 1772-1983 and the Zelma Weisfeld Archive, 1954-2006. All these books and artifacts are held at the University of Michigan Special Collections Library. Additionally, this online exhibit showcases the U-M Wolverine Press students setting the type for a replica of a gathering from the second quarto of Hamlet (1604). Finally, the exhibit ends with a selection of five video clips from films based on Shakespeare's plays.