Snell Library at the Northeastern University transformed itself into a class with an interactive session where a dozen home-schooled kids learned about Shakespeare and its history. An assistant professor of English, Erika Boeckeler, and University’s Library Staff arranged an event for children who participated in the non-profit program called All the World’s Stage Players. The program aims to teach home-schooled students about Shakespeare and educate them about his plays.
Boeckler gave a lecture on the playwright to the Northeastern Alumini. It is through this that the members of the non-profit program learnt about her research interest in Shakespeare. The members then invited Erika to speak to students and impart her knowledge, for which she took a step further by inviting them to the Northeastern and also providing them resources of University Archives and Special Collection.
Apart from the lessons on Shakespeare, students also got a chance to study and note the evolution of books i.e. from manuscripts to digital era. While learning about the invention of printing press, Amanda Rust, the instruction librarian, explained how the footnotes in different editions of the Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, portray and construct different analysis.
Before the interactive session, Boeckeler held a lecture named “The Newfangled Media of Shakespeare’s Era”. In the lecture, she described the change and improvement observed in the printing of books from the early-modern period to the invention of printing press. The best example of this evolution is Shakespeare’s Hamlet and that its editions were printed during Shakespeare’s lifetime and shortly after his death. With all this information given, it was indeed a wonderful experience for the members of the group.
“It’s exciting to see how the magic of Shakespeare’s language creates a natural bridge between the work and resources of our university and the interests of the local community,” Boeckeler said witnessing the program.