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Shakespeare's Birthplace Visitors' book, Stratford-upon-Avon


Volume signed by visitors to Shakespeare's Birthplace.

  • Finding No


  • Date


  • Extent

    1 Quarto vol.

  • Status


  • Level


  • Associated place

    United Kingdom - England - Warwickshire - Stratford-upon-Avon - Henley Street - Shakespeare's Birthplace,

  • Credit line

    CC-BY-NC-ND Image Courtesy of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Custodial History

Donated to the Birthplace in 1812 and retained by the custodian as a visitor book.

The donor's intention had been that when full, the volume would be transferred to the librarian of Stratford-upon-Avon and retained in the town's library. It is not clear if this happened, but the volume was eventually purchased by Henry Clay Folger of New York. Folger and his wife Emily were keen collectors of Shakespeareana and they co-founded the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. to house their collection.

In 1964 (the quatercentenary of Shakespeare's birth), this volume was presented by the Trustees of the Folger Shakespeare Library to the Birthplace Trust.

Admin History

T.H. Perkins purchased a blank quarto book, ruled it and presented it to the custodian of the Birthplace, to be used as a visitor's book. Perkins inscribed the volume "Tribute of respect to the memory of the 'Bard of Avon', the Immortal Shakespeare" and was the first person to sign, on 1st July 1812.

T.H. Perkins of Boston, Massachusetts has been identified as Thomas Handasyd Perkins, an enslaver who traded slaves in Haiti and smuggled opium into China.