King’s College Library has collaborated with the University Library to digitise its copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, ahead of the 400th anniversary of the book’s first publication in 1623.
Senior Photographer Amélie Deblauwe from the UL’s Digital Content Unit spent 10 days in October photographing the folio – one of only four copies in Cambridge – in the Library Seminar Room at King’s. The complete digitised copy will be made available online as part of the 400th anniversary celebrations, and the College hopes to have its copy of the First Folio on exhibition at some point during the year. The digitisation was made possible thanks to a donation from Fanny Greber in memory of her husband, Lloyd D. Raines (KC 1972).
The First Folio is considered one of the most important books in the English language. Published seven years after Shakespeare’s death, it was the first collected edition of his plays to be printed, and without it only about half of his dramatic works would survive today. King’s Library, which has been in existence since the College’s foundation in 1441, has extensive holdings of rare books, antiquarian music and manuscripts.