About the Folger

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Welcome to the Folger Shakespeare Library, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, a block from the US Capitol. Home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection and to major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art, the Folger serves a wide audience of scholars, visitors, teachers, students, families, and theater- and concert-goers. 

The Folger opened in 1932, as a gift to the American people from founders Henry and Emily Folger. Find out more about the history of the Folger.

What we do

An internationally recognized research library, the Folger offers advanced scholarly programs in the humanities. We are an innovator in the preservation of rare materials, and major new digital initiatives support our leadership role in digital humanities (DH) research. 

The Folger is a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K–12. We produce publications and resources—in print and online—to support teachers, students, and lifelong learners interested in Shakespeare’s plays and the world that shaped them, including the Folger Editions, which are the number one Shakespeare text used in American classrooms today. We publish Shakespeare Quarterly, the premiere journal for Shakespeare scholarship, as well as the award-winning Folger Magazine. Our wide variety of cultural and arts programs include theater, music, poetry, exhibitions, lectures, screenings, and family programs.

By promoting understanding of Shakespeare and his world, the Folger reminds us of the enduring influence of his works, the formative effects of the Renaissance on our own time, and the power of the written and spoken word.

Learn more

Find out more about what's happening at the Folger, learn about ways to connect with us online or in social media, or find volunteer or employment opportunities. You can also review our annual report and get information on the Folger Board of Governors and the Folger staff, including director Michael Witmore.