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The World Series and Shakespeare’s Second Folio

You may be wondering what the World Series has to do with Shakespeare’s Second Folio. Well, it has everything to do with our copy of the Second Folio.

In 1958, the University of California acquired the extensive personal library of C.K. (Charles Kay) Ogden, British linguist and philosopher. The University divided the library among the extant campuses: Berkeley, UCLA, Davis, Santa Barbara, and Riverside. The Davis library’s portion was nearly 10,000 volumes.

A Second Folio, the second edition of Shakespeare’s works printed in 1632, was part of the C.K. Ogden library. When the time came to place it, Berkeley and UCLA both said that it duplicated their holdings. So, the placement fell to Davis, Santa Barbara, and Riverside. Instead of making the placement based on the flipping of a coin, a time-honored ritual, the University Librarians decided to base the placement on the outcome of the 1958 World Series.

In 1958, the American League was represented by the New York Yankees, the National League by the Milwaukee Braves. The same teams had played the 1957 series, with Milwaukee winning in seven games. According to former University Librarian J.R. Blanchard’s Reminiscences, “Davis was fortunate in drawing the New York Yankees, who knocked in the winning run of the 1958 baseball series, which also meant the Second Folio was pitched out to the Davis campus.”

J.R. Blanchard with Shakespeare Second Folio, undated.

J.R. Blanchard with Shakespeare Second Folio, undated.

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