Welcome to the Folger Shakespeare Library, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Home to the world’s largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials and to major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art, the Folger serves a wide audience of researchers, visitors, teachers, students, families, and theater- and concert-goers.
The Folger is a world-renowned research center on Shakespeare and on the early modern age in the West. Its conservation lab is a leading innovator in the preservation of rare materials. Its well-known public programs include plays, concerts, literary readings, family activities, and exhibitions, as well as numerous K-12 and college programs for students and teachers. Advanced scholars participate in a variety of Folger Institute seminars and colloquia.
The Folger also publishes the illustrated, completely re-edited Folger Editions of Shakespeare's plays, award-winning exhibition catalogs, and the journal Shakespeare Quarterly.
The Folger opened in 1932 as a gift to the American nation from Henry Clay Folger and his wife Emily Jordan Folger. It is administered by a Board of Governors under the auspices of Amherst College, Henry Folger’s alma mater.
Use this site to learn much more about Folger events and resources, both online and on location. Henry and Emily Folger founded the library long before the Internet was ever imagined, but the site further opens the doors to the collection in a spirit they surely would have approved.
The mission of the Folger Shakespeare Library is to preserve and enhance its collections; to render the collections, in appropriate formats, accessible to scholars; and to advance understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare's writings and of the culture of early modern Europe more generally through various programs designed for all students and for the general public.