“Ritual and Ceremony” is hosted by the Folger Institute, a center for advanced study that is sustained by the Folger Shakespeare Library, a consortium of universities, and major grants and gifts. The Institute’s annual slate of formal programs for advanced graduate students and faculty is designed to address compelling topics of current interest. Institute programs are often organized as interdisciplinary conversations—to broaden intellectual horizons and to foster understanding and collaboration across expertises. The purview of the Institute extends far beyond the teaching of Shakespeare, though the Library, of course, remains a vital hub of Shakespeare studies, with such leading publications as Shakespeare Quarterly and the Folger Library Editions, and award-winning stage productions of Shakespeare’s plays. Institute programs often help identify deep pockets of source materials in sometimes surprising fields, like French law, early printed Reformation books in Germany, music, and early modern science. Institute programs can help revitalize scholarship in these fields. The Institute’s staff is expert in the support of complex academic programs for advanced scholars. The Executive Director, Dr. Kathleen Lynch, will serve as administrative project director.
The Folger Shakespeare Library, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, is the internationally celebrated home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection as well as a major repository of primary materials that support many fields of humanities research in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. Opened as a gift to the American people in 1932, the Folger Shakespeare Library is also an innovator in the preservation of rare materials; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K-12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs for a variety of audiences.
Scholars from around the world find a home away from home at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Its collection has both great depth and a broad range. In round numbers, the Folger houses more than 256,000 books; 60,000 manuscripts; 250,000 playbills; 200 oil paintings; some 50,000 drawings, watercolors, prints, and photographs; and a wealth of other materials, including musical instruments, costumes, and films. The collection's two great strengths are materials related to the early modern age in the West, from about 1450 to the mid-1700s, and materials related to William Shakespeare and the theater, up to the present day. The Folger's collection of Shakespeare materials, much of it originally acquired by Henry and Emily Folger, is the largest and finest in the world. Since it opened in 1932, the Folger has acquired significant additional holdings that make it a world-class research center on the early modern age. Acquisitions continue for all parts of the collection.
The Folger’s Reading Rooms are open from 8:45 to 4:45 Monday through Friday and from 9 to noon and 1 pm to 4:30 on Saturdays to qualified readers. Wireless computer access is available in the Reading Rooms. More detailed information about hours, holdings, catalogues, and reader services is available on the Folger Shakespeare Library website: at www.folger.edu.
More information about the Folger Institute and its programs is available at www.folger.edu/institute.
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