Research at the Folger

The Folger Shakespeare Library is an independent research library devoted to advanced study in the Renaissance and early modern period. In addition to its outstanding collection of editions of Shakespeare’s plays, the Library has one of the world’s finest collections of 15th- through 18th-century rare books and manuscripts from Great Britain and Europe.

We welcome individual readers, scholars on fellowship, and participants in Folger programs to our reading rooms. While access to the Reading Room and our materials can only be granted to registered readers, registered readers need not be scholars or academics. Anyone with a specific project directly related to Folger collection strengths is welcome to apply for a special permission reader’s card.

Current and potential readers can visit our library orientation page to learn what to expect when you come to do research at the Folger.

For those scholars who will be joining us for an extended period of time, we have put together most of the information you might need to know about your stay with us here in Washington DC, and even what housing options might be available to you.

Whatever your reason for joining us, we look forward to meeting you.