What a fabulous and entirely appropriate activity to do on Shakespeare’s Birthday. Here I am in Milwaukee taping Max Yela, head of the Special Collections at the Golda Meir Library on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus. Max has graciously agreed to stay after hours and show us the remarkable books related to Shakespeare in the Special Collection. He has an impressive 18th Century Variorum set, which painstakingly shows all of the differences between every single extant copy of each play, (folio, quarto or edited version), up to the printing of the Variora themselves. He also shows a very interesting Complete Works from another bygone era, this one published by a woman (the first such publication of Shakespeare’s canon) and features copperplate printings of all female characters from Shakespeare – surely a prized piece for the collector.
Special thanks to Max and to the staff at UWM for pulling out their collection and humoring a blogger and Shakespeare enthusiast such as myself!
Next I read a favorite selection from Romeo & Juliet from the 1632 Special Collection – that video can be found here: http://www.shakespearealoud.com/?p=2379