Milner Library, with support from the Alice and Fannie Fell Trust, will host the second annual Shakespearience from 1-3 p.m. July 22, 2018.

In association with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival and the Lincoln Festival on Route 66, this event will offer the public a rare glimpse into the worlds of two of history’s most prominent figures.

Shakespearience will bring together the lives and stories of Will and Abe in this interactive workshop. After a short panel presentation by experts in the fields, participants will have the opportunity to engage firsthand with books that Shakespeare and Lincoln would have grown up reading.

“It could be argued that no single writer had more influence on Western literature than William Shakespeare and the United States would not be ‘United’ without Abe Lincoln,” said Literature and Languages Librarian and Shakespearience creator Jean MacDonald. “Understanding the historical milieus from which these two important figures emerged can help us understand the kind of cultural ground from which greatness springs.” MacDonald  explained that Milner Library’s Special Collections is the perfect place on ISU’s campus to explore these influences because of the rich holdings of rare books from the Renaissance period and pieces from the Lincoln Collection located in Special Collections.

After exploring the connection between Honest Abe and the Bard, take a quick walk through Illinois State University’s quad to the Center for the Performing Arts for a matinee of Illinois Shakespeare Festival’s production, Shakespeare in Love.

1-3 p.m. Sunday, July 22
Milner Library Floor 6
Free and open to the public with light refreshments


Shakespeare in Love
Sunday, July 22 at 3 p.m.
Center for the Performing Arts
To purchase tickets to the play, visit

 For more information or if you need special accommodations to fully participate in the event, contact Colleen Rice at Please allow sufficient time to arrange for the accommodations.