A manual for witch-hunters

Worried about encountering witches like Macbeth this All Hallows Eve? Turn to a witch-hunting manual such as the Malleus Maleficarum! This famous book, known as “The Hammer of Witches” in English, was written in the 15th century by a pair of inquisitors for the Catholic Church. The text was originally published in Latin, as many… Continue Reading »


Will and Jane go to war

During World War I, the works of Shakespeare and Austen reached American troops on active duty through the American Library Association’s “War Service Library” program.  Between 1917 and 1920, the program collected donations of used books to help them distribute reading materials to the military, ultimately amounting to over 100 million books and magazines to… Continue Reading »


A mulberry tree and other Shakespeare bindings

By Esther Ferington Among the curious items in the Will & Jane exhibition is a 19th-century edition of Shakespeare’s works in an unusual binding. A small frame in the binding’s front cover encloses a piece of wood, described in an inscription as “Part of the Mulberry Tree Planted by Wm. Shakespeare.” Needless to say, no… Continue Reading »


How to counteract the curse of Macbeth (er, The Scottish Play)

Don’t say “Macbeth” in a theater, or you’ll be cursed. Or at least that’s how the old superstition goes. That’s why you’ll often hear actors refer to it as “The Scottish Play.” It’s one of many stories connected with the performance history of Shakespeare plays through the years. These kind of theatrical anecdotes are the focus of… Continue Reading »


7 ideas for a Shakespeare-themed Halloween costume

We’ve got seven great ideas for Shakespeare-themed Halloween costumes. 1. The Gravedigger from Hamlet Yes, you could go as Hamlet himself and carry a skull around all night. Or you could go as the Gravedigger and carry a shovel around all night. The choice is clear. 2. Bottom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream This Halloween… Continue Reading »


Summer memories from the First Folio tour: Ohio, North Dakota, Alaska, and Colorado

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” It may be October, but we’re feeling a little nostalgic for all the places our First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare touring exhibition traveled this summer. See a few social media highlights from the Cleveland Public Library, the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Alaska State Libraries,… Continue Reading »


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