For the past few weeks we have had the honour of the company of a William Shakespeare paper sculpture sitting quietly in the corner of the Reading Room. He was made for an exhibition by students from Birmingham City University who visited us a few months ago to use our collections for their project. Last week we had to say goodbye to him; he never did finish filling in his reader registration form and it was a sad day when we had to bid him farewell, but then he is a busy man. Liverpool is his next destination.
There have been a lot of enquiries surrounding the Birthday celebrations, including media interest, and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Marketing Department have been working hard fitting in all of the different TV and radio programmes around the Trust. Our media enquiries have mainly involved sheep, prayer books, and Shakespeare's family. Keep an eye on the schedules for all things Shakespeare and you should see a bit of our collections at some point!
It has remained busy in the Reading Room, and this week our researchers have been covering the following topics:
- Bram Stoker
- Stratford in the 1960s
- Rupert Gould's Merchant of Venice
- A Midsummer Night's Dream
- Richard III
- Twelfth Night
- The Shakespeare Club
- Shoes (?!)
- The Winter's Tale
- The Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton
- Stratford Herald
- As You Like It
- Shakespeare of course!
This week we have shown our collections to groups of VIPs and guests from Argentina; South Africa; and Kentucky, USA!
We took this enthusiastic group of teachers from the Swan School of English, Argentina, on a tour of the Strong Rooms and they were extremely knowledgeable about our early printed books, particularly the editions used as source materials for Shakespeare's works.
We have also had the pleasure of welcoming members of Kentucky Shakespeare to our Reading Room and gave them a sneak peak at some treasures in the Strong Rooms as well. They were particularly interested in the Bram Stoker collection, the parish register containing Shakespeare’s baptism and burial entries, and of course the Big American Book!
There’s so much more going on, but in the Reading Room we would like to wish William Shakespeare a very Happy Birthday for tomorrow! Don’t forget your #SelfieWithShakespeare!