First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, coming to Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum

First Folio at the Mansion Museum

Oglebay Institute will host the original First Folio of Shakespeare at its Mansion Museum in Wheeling from May 9 to June 12 as part of a national touring exhibition celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare.

Wheeling, West Virginia— Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum will soon be host to the original 1623 Shakespeare First Folio. Considered one of the most influential books in the world, the First Folio includes 36 Shakespeare plays, 18 of which had never been printed before. Without the First Folio, all of those plays—including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, As You Like It, and more—might have been lost forever. Compiled by two of his friends and fellow theater colleagues, the First Folio was published seven years after Shakespeare’s death in 1616.

Folger Shakespeare Library, which holds 82 copies of the First Folio and is the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, is touring a Shakespeare First Folio to all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico in 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum is the only stop on the tour for the state of West Virginia.

The First Folio will be on display at Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum, located in Oglebay Resort, from May 9 to June 12 and is open to the public from 10 a.m.- 5p.m. daily.

On tour, the First Folio will be opened to the most quoted line from Shakespeare, “to be or not to be” from Hamlet. Accompanying the 1623 book will be a six-panel exhibition exploring Shakespeare’s impact, then and now, along with interactive, digital activities.

Oglebay Institute has partnered with West Liberty University, Wheeling Jesuit University, the Ohio County Public Library, the West Virginia Reading Association and other community partners to present a series of programs during the four-week exhibition to connect the public with the Bard, his work and the history of the printed word. Programs range from lectures and interpretive displays to film festivals, family programs and theater productions. To find out more about the exhibit and the more than 40 programs and events planned, visit or

“We are honored to have been selected as a venue to help share this extraordinary part of the world’s cultural heritage,” said Oglebay Institute director of museums Christin Byrum. “For most people this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to come within inches of one of the most influential books in history.”

When the tour was announced, Michael Witmore, director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, said, “Shakespeare is one of the greatest storytellers of all time. His characters are familiar to us, and his words still excite artists, scholars, and audiences around the globe. He connects us to each other, to our history, and to the themes and ideas that touch us every day. Shakespeare’s world is our world, and it is vast. We hope this exhibit invites everyone to come explore.”

The First Folio! national tour is part of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s 2016 Wonder of Will celebration of 400 years of Shakespeare.

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, is produced in association with the American Library Association, which helped to organize and plan the tour, including its comprehensive application process, and the Cincinnati Museum Center, whose exhibitions department is providing tour management expertise in preparing for travel the panels that will accompany the First Folios at each stop, as well as designing traveling display cases for the folios. CMC and Folger staff are partnering to manage tour logistics and provide staff for installation and de-installation at each site.

First Folio! 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, and other generous donors.

About Oglebay Institute

Since 1930, the non-profit Oglebay Institute has served as the cultural hub of Wheeling, the region’s premier resource for lifelong learning opportunities and a gathering place for people of all ages to engage in creative pursuits. Operating six facilities (The Mansion Museum, The Glass Museum, The Stifel Fine Arts Center, Towngate Theatre and Cinema, The Schrader Environmental Education Center and the School of Dance), the organization serves more than 85,000 people annually through its hundreds of community and school-based programs in visual arts, dance, theater, history, heritage and environmental education. Oglebay Institute advocates the essential value of arts and nature in our personal lives and its public worth to our community.

About Folger Shakespeare Library

Folger Shakespeare Library is the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the ultimate resource for exploring Shakespeare and his world. The Folger welcomes millions of visitors online and in person. We provide unparalleled access to a huge array of resources, from original sources to modern interpretations. With the Folger, you can experience the power of performance, the wonder of exhibitions, and the excitement of path-breaking research. We offer the opportunity to see and work with early modern sources, driving discovery and transforming education for students of all ages. Shakespeare’s world is vast. Come explore. Join us online, on the road, or in Washington, DC. Learn more at

Partners in this exhibition include:

About Cincinnati Museum Center

Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight, and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of only 16 museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater, and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually. For more information, visit

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. Additional information can be found at

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at