Our Special Collections librarians created two exhibits for the Bailey/Howe lobby this semester, “Shakespeare in Print” and “John Johnson: Surveyor, Master Builder, Civil Engineer, and More.”
Shakespeare in Print: Interpretations of the Bard’s Theatrical Works at the Quadricentennial of his Death
This exhibit, curated by Jeffrey Marshall, Director of Special Collections, presents a variety of approaches to Shakespeare in print using examples from the Rare Book Collection.
At the death of William Shakespeare on April 23, 1616, his literary and theatrical reputation was etched in the memories of the general public, but little of it was reflected in print. Some of his plays had been published individually in “quartos,” but apparently the Bard had little or no active participation in their publication. Two of his stage colleagues decided to remedy this deficiency by publishing the complete works of Shakespeare in “folio” format. Working from Shakespeare’s notes, the published quartos, and their own memories, the two prepared thirty-six plays for publication. Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Tragedies, & Histories (London, 1623), popularly known today as The First Folio, was published in an edition of about 750 copies. Second, Third, and Fourth folios followed later in the century, and thousands of editions, of varying format and content, have been published in the centuries since.
John Johnson: Surveyor, Master Builder, Civil Engineer, and More
The second exhibit sheds light on the extensive talents and activities of John Johnson (1771-1842), who came to northwestern Vermont in 1790 and settled in Burlington in 1809.
As a surveyor, Johnson played an important role in land development during Vermont’s early years. He served as Vermont’s surveyor general from 1813 to 1823, and again from 1832 to 1838, and supervised surveys of the eastern section of the Canada-U.S. border from 1817 to 1820. Johnson designed a wide variety of building types and structures, including, including the first and second College Buildings at UVM. He was also an agent for the Vermont Mutual Fire Insurance Co., served in the legislature in 1803, and helped organize associations that sponsored lectures and debates and supported lending libraries. The exhibit includes maps, surveys and drawings from Special Collections’ extensive John Johnson Collection.
Johnson’s drawing for UVM’s Middle Building, 1829