All’s well that ends well: Leeds Uni digitises priceless Shakespeare work

Great news for English Students – A folio featuring all of William Shakespeare’s plays will now be available to the general public online thanks to the efforts of staff at Leeds University.


A digitsed version of Shakespeare’s First Folio, one of the most important books in the history of English literature, will reach the net in May.

At the time of its production, cheap versions of around half of Shakespeare’s individual plays had previously been produced, but the First Folio gathered the Bard’s work together in one volume – preserving 18 plays that had not yet been printed.

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Martin Butler, professor of English Renaissance Drama at Leeds, said: “Without the Folio, we would not have Macbeth or Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra or Coriolanus; we would be missing Twelfth Night and As You Like It.”

He also said that without it we would never have heard of ‘All the world’s stage’ or ‘If music be the food of love, play on’.

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The university copy of the Folio, one of only two in Yorkshire and 40 in Britain, is being made available to everyone to commemorate Shakespeare’s birthday on 23rd April.

The complete digital resource will be launched in May.