April is a busy a month at the Boston Public Library, with many events taking place in honor of National Poetry Month. Today, the library hosts the Boston Shakespeare Sonnet-thon, which takes place in Rabb Lecture Hall from 5-8:30 p.m.
April is also the birth month of William Shakespeare, a favorite of the library. Two Collections of Distinction honor Shakespeare and the arts:
Shakespeare: The BPL holds one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in a public institution focusing on the writings of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries. The collection was the first in the United States to include the first four folios of the collected works of William Shakespeare, as well as some 45 early quarto editions of individual plays, many published during Shakespeare’s lifetime. As the preeminent Shakespeare collection from 19th-century America, this collection of 15,000 volumes is strong in Shakespeare’s most important editions, as well as source material, commentaries, and criticism.
Boston Theater: This collection is the only comprehensive history of Boston theater in the city. It documents the administrative, financial, and performance histories of five Boston theaters from 1794–2003. These theaters are the Federal Street Theatre (1793–1852), the first independent theater in Boston; the Tremont Theatre (1839–1843); the Boston Theatre and Opera House (1852–1856); the Charles Playhouse (1958–2003), the city’s only regional theater; and the Triangle Theater (1980–1988), a gay and lesbian theater. The collection contains programs, playbills, reviews, production material, costume and set designs, and trustees’ meeting minutes, as well as blueprints and construction and site plans.
To learn more about these and other collections, visit www.bpl.org/distinction.