The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0441 Friday, 6 September 2013
Date: Friday, September 6, 2013
Subject: University of London Not to Sell Shakespeare Folios
University of London abandons plans to sell Shakespeare folios
By David Batty
The Guardian, Thursday 5 September 2013 18.26 EDT
Proposed sale of the works will not go ahead in light of negative response from academic community, says vice-chancellor
The University of London has abandoned its proposal to auction a rare set of early printed editions of William Shakespeare’s plays following an outcry by senior figures in theatre and academia.
It emerged this week that the university’s library intended to auction the set of Shakespeare’s first four folios, left to the Senate House library in 1956 by Sir Louis Sterling, in an effort to raise £3m to £5m for its historical research collection.
The editions had been photographed and evaluated by Bonham’s auction house. But the vice-chancellor, Prof Sir Adrian Smith, said on Thursday that the proposed sale of the works – a set bound together in the 19th century – would not go ahead in light of the negative response from the academic community.
Smith said: “The university has decided to focus its attention on examining alternative ways of investing in the collection. The money raised from any sale would have been used to invest in the future of the library by acquiring major works and archives of English literature.”
The university would have required permission from the Charity Commission to go ahead with the auction because the sale conflicted with the terms of the bequest, which states that the four folios should be permanently housed there.
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