Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 25 July |
The Feast of Saint James the Great
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Shakespeare’s personal documents added to UNESCO heritage list


Katie Jones | CC BY-SA 4.0

J-P Mauro - published on 01/23/18

They will be immortalized next to the Gutenberg Bible, the Magna Carta, and 'The Wizard of Oz.'

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added a collection of 90 documents relating to the personal life of William Shakespeare to the UNESCO International Memory of the World Register. The documents record the Bard’s baptismal and burial records, family matters, property holdings, and business dealings, and even include rare examples of his signature.

These documents will be protected and preserved for all time to provide future generations with reference and insight into Shakespeare’s inspirations and influences. The Guardian points out that the Shakespeare documents now hold the same status that the Egyptian pyramids enjoy, in the category of building heritage:

The documents join the likes of the Gutenberg Bible, Magna Carta, Bayeux Tapestry and the films The Battle of the Somme and The Wizard of Oz on the register.

The documents are spread out over several institutions: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, The National Archives, Worcestershire Archives and Archaeology Service, The College of Arms, The British Library and London Metropolitan Archives in the UK, and the Folger Shakespeare Library in the US. Although they are not accumulated in one place, each document will be protected by UNESCO.

Amy Hurst, collections archivist at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said in a statement:

“The documentary trail left by Shakespeare provides a rich narrative of his life, giving unique insight into his personal circumstances and how these may have influenced his creative work.”
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
Zelda Caldwell
Did Jesus wear “tefillin” as some observant Jews do t...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.