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Use the Collection

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Use the Collection

The rare materials held at the Folger are meant to be actively used; Henry Folger once called the collection “a fine kit of tools for scholars.” Today, the Folger Library continues to make its books, manuscripts, and artworks as accessible as possible within the limits set by their rarity and, in many cases, fragility.


The Reading Rooms themselves are open only to scholars and other qualified researchers, known as readers at the Folger. If you'd like to apply for a reader's card, more information can be found on the Reader Information and Fellowship pages.


For the general public, access to the Folger collection is provided through free, curated exhibitions, a variety of print publications, many parts of this website, and our freely-accessible Digital Image Collection.


For research questions, go to Ask a Librarian. This service is intended both for Folger readers and other scholars and for members of the public. You can also consult our publicly available online catalog, Hamnet.


Photographs of Folger holdings are available for research and publication through our in-house Photography and Digital Imaging Department.


Looking for microfilm of Folger holdings? This database lists all microfilms that have been made of Folger rare books, art, and manuscripts, including those items that are unique or restricted. Click past any "certificate errors," should you see any (typically in Internet Explorer).Folger Microfilms Database.


For questions or problems in using Hamnet, e-mail hamnethelp@folger.edu. For questions about the Folger collection, e-mail reference@folger.edu.


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