What does a scholar – of – record do?

Our very own Dr. Robin Williams is one of the scholars-of-record for the New Mexico Museum of Art’s exhibition the First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare.  (Board member, Dr. Kristin Bundesen, is the other scholar-of-record.)

This Thursday, Robin will be working with the museum’s docents, deepening their understanding not only about Shakespeare’s First Folio, but about the process of creating a book in the early 17th century.  She will describe how paper was made before wood pulp was used, how a manuscript was created, how a print shop marked up a manuscript, how the sheets were bound and the use of metal type.  These were all steps in creating a book at the time the First Folio was printed.

A folio page is approximately 8 ½ inches wide by 13 3/8 inches tall.  The First Folio is the name applied to the first publication of 36 plays attributed to Shakespeare.  The First Folio has 454 leaves, or what we might call pages. What is wonderful about the First Folio is that it includes fifteen plays for which no previous printed versions exist including some favorites like As You Like It, Macbeth, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night.

The docents are volunteers who deepen the experience of visitors to the museum.  They spend their time learning about each exhibit, artist and subject presented at the museum.  Then they provide this education to visitors in a comfortable informal manner. 

With this deeper contextual knowledge of books in the early 1600s the museum’s docents will be well prepared to share with visitors the effort involved in creating the First Folio. 

That’s one of the things a scholar – of –record can contribute to an exhibition like the First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare. The exhibit will be at the New Mexico Museum of Art in February 2016.  

NOTE: This talk is not open to the public.  Sorry!