A collaborative endeavor of the Folger Shakespeare Library and more than 40 universities in the U.S. and abroad, the Folger Institute’s consortium pursues its work through "resource sharing," with each member institution contributing to projects that no one of them can accomplish alone. In 1978 this model consortial relationship was honored with an endowment from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that continues to fund Institute activities.
The shared resources are intellectual, financial, and managerial. The Folger provides administrative staff, meeting space, access to its collections, and a range of curatorial and reference services. Each consortium university, meanwhile, appoints a faculty representative to the consortium’s Central Executive Committee. The committee is charged with program planning and oversight. The annual membership fees of the universities fund such core Institute activities as its roster of advanced seminars. By underwriting an extensive program of grants-in-aid, the membership fees also allow consortium affiliates to travel to the Folger to attend seminars.
The Folger Institute also offers reciprocal privileges to affiliates of the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies. Faculty members and advanced graduate students from the Newberry consortium may apply to programs at the Folger and receive travel support from the Newberry consortium, as those affiliated with the Folger may apply to programs at the Newberry and receive travel support from the Folger.