olding History invites your hands to hold, explore, and even take pictures of some of the most important books ever printed. At each event, participants are welcomed into one of the UW-Madison’s Special Collections Libraries where student curators and rare book experts team up to create a lively, hands-on experience with books that were printed when Hamlet was barely a twinkle in Shakespeare’s eye.

At its core, it is the Wisconsin Idea in action: the program not only welcomes public audiences into the university’s Special Collections, but also provides a forum for training  students to share their knowledge and the resources of the campus with our broader community.

At our kickoff event on July 21, “Holding History: Shakespeare’s Sonnets & Poems,” undergraduate and graduate students (with majors ranging from English to Astrophysics) invited participants to turn the pages of about a dozen rare volumes including the second printing of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

For more pictures and related media, visit the Holding History Facebook page. For more details about the next Holding History program, visit our “Upcoming Events” page.

Holding History is hosted by the UW-Madison’s Special Collections in Memorial Library and is offered in partnership with UW Continuing Studies and UW-Madison Libraries.

Grant supported provided by the UW-Madison Anonymous Fund, the Brittingham Fund, and the Kemper K. Knapp Fund.