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Brave new world for US Shakespeare library as it displays its 82 First Folios

Folger library in Washington has single biggest collection of world’s 235 surviving copies – until now kept hidden in a vault

Washington is a shining city on a hill, swamp of corruption or tourist destination with some great museums, depending on your point of view. It is seldom thought of as a place of pilgrimage for fans of a certain Elizabethan playwright from Stratford-upon-Avon.

Yet the American capital is about to become a vital stop for devotees of William Shakespeare the world over. In June, the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill will unveil a permanent display of its 82 copies of the First Folio, the single biggest collection of the world’s 235 surviving copies.

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