In 1984, a National Endowment for the Humanities grant established the Folger Institute Center for the History of British Political Thought. In 1996, an endowment from Dr. Barbara Taft assured its future. Through a series of seminars, conferences, and publications, the Center seeks to re-map the main patterns of discourse in a major political culture over three seminal centuries, 1500–1800. The Center's work to date is represented in print by The Varieties of British Political Thought , 1500–1800, co-authored by eight seminar directors; in six volumes of "Proceedings" from its 1984–87 seminars; and in several collections of conference and seminar papers. The Institute maintains a complete list of all materials published by the Center.
Since its creation by J.G.A. Pocock, Lois Schwoerer, and Gordon Schochet, the Center's Steering Committee has fostered a number of different agendas in British Political Thought. Current members of the Steering Committee include David Armitage of Harvard University, Linda Levy Peck of George Washington University, Gordon Schochet of Rutgers University, Julia Rudolph of North Carolina State University, Nigel Smith of Princeton University, and Kathleen Lynch of the Folger Institute.