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Australia’s oldest library starts daily opening of Shakespeare Room for 1st time

Sydney, April 24 (IANS) As the oldest library in Australia, the State Library of New South Wales (NSW) on Monday started opening Shakespeare Room seven days a week to the public for the first time in its history.

Welcoming visitors in a social media post, the NSW State Library said that the Tudor-style room, opened in the early 1940s, was built to commemorate the 300th anniversary of English playwright William Shakespeare’s death, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Inside you’ll find thousands of books by and about Shakespeare, as well as stained-glass windows that depict the seven ages of man from his play ‘As You Like It’,” the state library noted.

In a statement, NSW State Librarian John Vallance called the Shakespeare Room “one of Sydney’s true hidden gems”.

“After being closed for three years due to Covid, we are pleased to be able to again welcome Shakespeare fans and visitors alike to this unique slice of Tudor England,” Vallance said.

According to the NSW State Library, as this year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio, the library will also present a special exhibition from July 8 to February 25, 2024.

The display is expected to feature the library’s significant Shakespeare collection, including the only copy of the First Folio in Australia and a copy of each of the Second, Third, and Fourth Folios, all published in the 17th century after the death of the English playwright.

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