The Folger Institute was founded in 1970 as a unique collaborative endeavor of the Folger Shakespeare Library and two Washington-area universities. In the succeeding years, its horizon has expanded from the local to the regional to the international, and the consortium now numbers 41 colleges and universities. With support from such agencies as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute offers seminars, conferences, and colloquia in fields represented in the Folger Library collections.
The Folger Institute collaboration is undertaken in the name of "resource sharing," with each member institution contributing to projects that no one of them can accomplish alone. The shared resources are intellectual, financial, and managerial. The Folger provides administrative staff, meeting space, access to its collections, and a range of support services. Each consortium university, meanwhile, appoints a faculty representative to the Institute's Central Executive Committee. The committee is charged with program planning and oversight. The annual membership fees of the universities fund such core Institute activities as its roster of advanced seminars. By underwriting an extensive program of grants-in-aid, the membership fees also allow consortium affiliates to travel to the Folger to attend seminars. In 1978 this model consortial relationship was honored with an endowment from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; this endowment continues to fund Institute activities.
Among the collaborative activities of the Folger Institute are its co-sponsorship of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies/Folger Institute fellowship for postdoctoral scholars conducting research in the period 1660–1815. The Folger Institute also offers reciprocal privileges to affiliates of the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies. Like the Folger Institute, the Newberry, which was founded in 1979, is a center for advanced study that is sponsored by a major independent research library and a coalition of universities. Faculty members and advanced graduate students from the Newberry consortium may apply to programs at the Folger and receive travel support from the Newberry consortium, as those affiliated with the Folger may apply to programs at the Newberry and receive travel support from the Folger.
In its fourth decade, the Folger Institute continues to play a leading role in advancing research and teaching in the humanities. Online materials listed on our Collaborative Websites and Resources page provide resources and ideas from past Folger Institute summer institutes. The programs described on our Program Offerings page represent the principal ongoing Folger Institute activities. For further information about these programs, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jaques Du Bosc. The excellent woman. London, 1692.
Turning 40: A History of the Folger Institute
Making the Modern Folger
Timeline Eight Decades at the Folger Shakespeare Library (1932-Present)