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Read the First Folio

Happy 450th birthday, Shakespeare!

Welcome to the Bodleian First Folio website, where you can view the digital facsimile online, and find out more about this treasured book, Shakespeare, his plays, and how we conserve, curate and digitize books.

Here you can leaf through the original printed pages, and find cameos from well-known Shakespeare lovers, and from researchers and experts who work on this book. We welcome you to join the conversation!

Portrait of Shakespeare

Thanks to the generous support we have received from donors all over the world towards its conservation and digitization, in 2013 we were able to open up our copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio online, one of the greatest treasures in the Bodleian collection, for the study and enjoyment of scholars, schoolchildren and Shakespeare-lovers alike, everywhere – and for free!

In 2014, we are delighted to mark Shakespeare’s 450th birthday by launching the serial publication of digital texts of the First Folio’s plays.