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Kevin Spacey visits UB's Poetry Collection

During his visit to Buffalo on April 27 for his appearance in the University at Buffalo Distinguished Speaker Series, stage and screen star Kevin Spacey made an important side-trip.

No, not to Charlie the Butcher, the Anchor Bar or Canalside. But to one of America's single deepest troves of world-changing literature and poetry, at 420 Capen Hall on the school's Amherst Campus.

The actor visited the world-renowned UB Poetry Collection, which includes rare copies of Shakespeare's first, second third and fourth folios and the world's largest collection of James Joyce's manuscripts, among many other gems.

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Read Jeff Simon's 2004 interview with Spacey

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"Spacey’s visit to UB’s Rare & Special Books Collection to see the four 17th-century folios of Shakespeare is proof of the enduring value these significant editions have as cultural artifacts. And how very fortunate Buffalo is to have them," said James Maynard, associate curator of the collection.

During his visit, Spacey looked through Shakespeare's first through fourth folios, Holinshed’s “Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland” from 1577 and a copy of James Joyce’s first edition of “Ulysses." With the help of longtime collection curator Michael Basinski and Maynard and accompanied by Buffalo theater eminence Saul Elkin, Spacey also examined Joyce's personal copy of "Shakespeare's Sonnets" and a third edition of Cervantes' "Don Quixote."

University at Buffalo Poetry Collection curator Michael Basinski shows off the university's collection of rare manuscripts. Photo by Joe Cascio of UB.

University at Buffalo Poetry Collection curator Michael Basinski shows off the university's collection of rare manuscripts. Photo by Joe Cascio/UB.

Here's Spacey breaking down the contemporary meaning of Shakespeare's "Richard III," which earned him rave reviews in 2012:

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