International Treasures to go on show in the heart of Birmingham

via Emma for Library of Birmingham

Our Shakespeare at the Library of Birmingham, 22 April to 3 September 2016

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. To celebrate the achievement of one of England’s greatest playwrights and poets, the Library of Birmingham is to stage a spectacular free exhibition of Shakespeare-related items from around the world.

Our Shakespeare is the result of a year-long cultural partnership between the Library of Birmingham and the British Library, and will draw upon the Shakespeare Memorial Library – one of the world’s greatest collections devoted to The Bard, and held by the Library of Birmingham – along with spectacular loan items from the British Library and other institutions.

Designed for visitors of all ages, Our Shakespeare will feature a colourful range of books, films, posters and photographs. Visitors will explore the story of the man behind Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth, and numerous other plays. They will be also able to listen to recordings of the works of the Bard of Avon in their original pronunciation, and see items owned by Laurence Olivier, Ellen Terry and other famous actors.

Our Shakespeare Curator Julian Harrison said: “This is a rare and exciting opportunity for people to experience first-hand artefacts, footage and audio that they won’t have seen elsewhere. William Shakespeare is one of Warwickshire’s most famous citizens and this exhibition extends Birmingham’s record of staging innovative events in fantastic locations.”


Shakespeare, Library,Curator, Julian Harrison, British Library
Julian Harrison, Shakespeare Curator, British Library who is organising a Shakespeare Exhibition at Library of Birmingham. Pictured here with an illustrated edition of Romeo and Juliet,presented to the Shakespeare Memorial Library by a delegation from the Soviet Union in 1964.

Our Shakespeare will focus on four key themes:-

  • The Warwickshire Lad – taking its title from an 18th century poem,this section will include exhibits of local relevance that depict Shakespeare the man.
  • The Shakespeare Library – telling the story of the library founded by the Our Shakespeare club in 1864, destroyed by fire in 1879 and restored thanks to generous donations from all over the world.
  • Shakespeare’s Genius – focusing on the plays and themes like ambition, love and magic, as illustrated in works such asMacbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and The Tempest.
  • Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits –including a copy of the First Folio,the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, published in 1623.

Our Shakespeare is a free exhibition running at the Library of Birmingham from 22 April until 3 September 2016, with a family-themed event on Saturday,23 April 23.

For more information visit