Page last updated at 00:17 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

Globe receives Shakespeare gift

Shakespeare's Globe
The Globe is a recreation of Shakespeare's original theatre

A collection of rare texts by William Shakespeare is to be donated to the London theatre that bears his name.

US playwright John Wolfson has pledged more than 450 works, including a first folio of 18 Shakespeare plays, to be handed over after his death.

Wolfson said he was "fortunate to have found a place as appropriate for my books as Shakespeare's Globe".

Chief executive Peter Kyle said the Bankside theatre was "delighted" to be bequeathed the "wonderful" collection.

In addition to the Shakespeare works, the archive includes plays from the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries, as well as texts by writers who are thought to have influenced the Bard.

It will be housed in a new research centre at the Globe.

Although the collection has never been valued, it is thought that some of Wolfson's texts alone could be worth 1m.

The playwright said he was happy that the collection, built up since the 1970s, would remain intact after his death.

He said the bequest would enable his archive "to be used to great advantage by students, scholars and educators for generations to come."

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