The National Maritime Museum’s display of Shakespeare related documents from the Dulwich College archive opens on Friday March 31. The loan includes Dulwich College’s copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio which will form part of the national celebration of the First Folio on 23 April.
The objects will be seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors over the summer and will allow the treasures from our The Archives to be shared with a worldwide audience. The free display is in the London Gallery and shows how Shakespeare’s language and world was affected by the Thames and the global explosion in maritime trade.
There has been a considerable amount of activity in the Archive over the past few months, culminating in the move and installation of the objects by specialised handlers. The Royal Museum Greenwich’s team includes a curator, project manager, paper conservator, education manager and registrar, who deals with insurance and the legal paperwork.
The documents have their own specially made cradles that will hold and support them at specific angles for the length of the loan. Temperature, light and humidity levels have to be agreed and will be regularly checked so that the documents are returned in September in exactly the same state as they left the College.
The early 17th Century handwritten play, The Telltale, was sent to a specialist paper conservator in preparation for the exhibition. The new binding ensures that the object is in the best possible condition both for the exhibition and for many years to come.
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