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First Folio! Visitor Information

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Where: Yanke Family Research Park, Boise State University, 220 E. Parkcenter Boulevard

Grand Opening Carnival: Saturday August 20, 2016  1:00-5:00pm

Gallery Hours, Sunday August 21- Wednesday September 21:
Monday-Friday, 10am – 7pm
Saturday-Sunday and Labor Day, 12-5pm
        ***Please Note Reduced Gallery Hours: Monday August 22, 10am-4pm and Friday September 2, 1-7pm

Parking for First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare and all associated events is complimentary.

Please note that backpacks will not be allowed in the gallery. Thank you!

On Display: 

  • First Folio! the Book that Gave Us Shakespeare on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library:   See one of the world’s most influential books–the 1623 Shakespeare First Folio– firsthand! This free, multi-panel exhibition explores Shakespeare’s impact, then and now, and is accompanied by digital content and interactive activities.
  • “What’s Past is Prologue”: 40 Years of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival:  A retrospective exhibition celebrating 40 seasons of Shakespeare in Idaho.
  • Seventeenth Century Books from the collection of David and Nancy Leroy
  • Seventeenth Century Printing and Bookbinding display and hands-on activities

The First Folio will be open to this page in Hamlet so visitors can read perhaps the most famous speech in the English language. It begins in the bottom of the left-hand column of the right page. Below is the speech printed in modern font but using spelling and punctuation found in the First Folio.

Hamlet Image of Folio


Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the Question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the minde to suffer
The Slings and Arrowes of outragious Fortune,
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to dye, to sleepe
No more; and by a sleepe, to say we end
The Heart-ake, and the thousand Naturall shockes
That Flesh is heyre too? ‘Tis a consummation
Deuoutly to be wish’d. To dye to sleepe,
To sleepe, perchance to Dreame; I, there’s the rub,
For in that sleepe of death, what dreames may come,
When we haue shufflel’d off this mortall coile,
Must giue vs pawse. There’s the respect
That makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would beare the Whips and Scornes of time,
The Oppressors wrong, the poore mans Contumely,
The pangs of dispriz’d Loue, the Lawes delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurnes
That patient merit of the vnworthy takes,
When he himselfe might his Quietus make
With a bare Bodkin? Who would these Fardles beare
To grunt and sweat vnder a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The vndiscouered Countrey, from whose Borne
No Traueller returnes, Puzels the will,
And makes vs rather beare those illes we haue,
Then flye to others that we know not of.
Thus Conscience does make Cowards of vs all,
And thus the Natiue hew of Resolution
Is sicklied o’re, with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
With this regard their Currants turne away,
And loose the name of Action. Soft you now,
The faire Ophelia? Nimph, in thy Orizons
Be all my sinnes remembred.

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First Folio on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library Book Shaped Logo
First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor and by the support of , Vinton and Sigrid Cerf, the British Council, Stuart and Mimi Rose, and other generous donors.