Your voices

We asked for your thoughts on Shakespeare, and you have been kind enough to send them. We’re grateful to you all, and look forward to sharing them on this blog over the coming months.

Today, as the Sprint for Shakespeare campaign is launched, we’re delighted to publish our first guest post, from Dr Will Sharpe.

Come and join the conversation! Email us your posts for our blog, shakespeare@bodleian.ox.ac.uk, or add your comments to the blog.

Launch day

Thanks to the hard work of many colleagues, and the vocal support of our champions, including Vanessa Redgrave, Stephen Fry, Professor Jonathan Bate, Sir Peter Hall and Thelma Holt, we have arrived at the day of our campaign launch.

Maev Kennedy visited us yesterday, and writes about Conservation and Collection Care‘s work in The Guardian.

Fiona Wilson writes about the first funding campaign for the Bodleian’s First Folio in The Times [paywall], the newspaper that spear-headed the 1905/06 campaign.

The Telegraph takes up the story of our champions, as do MSN News and ITV news.

BBC News tells the story of the First Folio, as do the New York Times Arts Beat blog and Huffington Post.

The Team

In November 2011, Dr Emma Smith talked to the Friends of the Bodleian about her study of the history of the Bodleian’s First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays. With characteristic warmth and light touch, Emma translated rigorous research into an engaging tale of a book lost, found, and, through the generosity of 800 subscribers, returned to its first home.

Emma’s talk inspired the Sprint for Shakespeare campaign, aiming to raise funds to stabilize, digitize and publish the First Folio online to share with the world. You can see another lecture Emma gave on the Bodleian’s First Folio online.

The research is Emma’s, and she remains closely involved in the campaign, encouraging support and advising us, but the campaign could not have reached the public without the help and hard work of many colleagues, from Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian, onwards.

The Bodleian’s Rare Book department has cared for the book since 1906. Dr Clive Hurst and Sarah Wheale have advised us on the First Folio since the first conversations about the campaign. Virginia Lladó-Buisàn and Nicole Gilroy, from Conservation and Collection Care, are charged with assessing the book’s state and carrying out the stabilization work needed. They are working with  Andrew Honey, Arthur Green and Julie Sommerfeldt. Once we reach our target, James AllanNick Cistone and John Barratt from Imaging Services will carry out the specialist photography.

Our Communications department has been central to work on the campaign. Oana Romocea is undertaking all our media communications. Sophie Durand designed the look of the campaign. Alison Prince and Dan Q set up and continue to provide support for this website.

Amy Trotter and Charlotte Paradise, from the University’s Development Office, guide and advise us on public fund-raising, and organized the giving website.

Dr Christine Madsen, working with Dr Matthew McGrattan and Matthew Wilcoxson, from Bodleian Digital Library Systems and Services, will co-ordinate the publication of the digital book online.

The lottery prizes — exquisite, hand-printed reproductions of Leonard Digges’s poem in praise of Shakespeare — are being created by Dr Paul Nash at the  Bodleian Hand-Printing Workshop at the Story Museum.

Caroline Astley, an English graduate working in the Bodleian’s Staff Development department, is kindly volunteering to edit some of the guest blog posts.

The project is overseen by Dr Wolfram Horstmann, and Pip Willcox is managing the work and this website.

If you’d like to get in touch, please email us: shakespeare@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

The idea

Dr Emma Smith’s research into the history of the Bodleian’s copy of the First Folio led to a conversation about how more study of the physical book could be made possible.

From her idea to make the precious and fragile book available to many more people than could see the book itself, Sprint for Shakespeare was born.

We are asking you to raise money to stabilize the physical book, take digital photographs of it, and publish them online to share with the world.