In 1623, seven years after the death of William Shakespeare, his colleagues and friends John Heming and Henry Condell gathered together thirty-six plays and convinced the printers Isaac Jaggard and Edward Blount to publish them in a single volume printed in a large, expensive folio format. The result was a book now widely regarded as the most important English language publication of all time — Shakespeare’s First Folio. Of the approximately 750 copies printed, 235 are known to survive. In 2021 UBC was offered the opportunity to buy a near-perfect copy of this book. Thanks to the generosity of many donors who made contributions, UBC was able to make the purchase.
The First Folio Research Cluster is centred on this recently acquired volume, exploring ways of catalyzing research collaborations, interdisciplinary partnerships, artistic creations, and community engagement. The cluster seeks to build a network of scholars, artists, and community members who will develop projects that make use of the First Folio as a research tool, pedagogical tool, and as a site for public engagement. Current members of the cluster are: Patricia Badir, Dennis Britton, Paul Budra, Tony Dawson, David Gaertner, Ashley Howard, Katherine Kalsbeek, Linc Kesler, Erik Kwakkel, Greg Mackie, Hallie Marshall, Toph Marshall, Vin Nardizzi, Moya O’Connell, Christine D’Onofrio, Gavin Paul, Patrick Pennefather, Tiffany Potter, and Chelsea Shriver. Those interested in joining the cluster can write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.