Tours

We invite visitors to enter the world of Elizabethan England and Shakespeare at Folger Shakespeare Library! Daily docent-led tours offer visitors a chance to explore the library and glimpse the world-famous Folger collection, including one of the Folger’s 82 First Folios. We offer free walk-in tours every day. We also offer a limited number of collection-focused visits, and can arrange tours for classroom groups.

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A Folger Docent shares the First Folio with visitors.

Free docent-led tours are offered daily:

  • Monday through Friday at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm
  • Saturday at 11 am and 1 pm
  • Sunday at 1 pm

The Folger also offers an exhibition focused tour of our Ships, Clocks, & Stars: The Quest for Longitude exhbition every Wednesday at 12 pm and Saturday at 2 pm.

To request a tour at a different time, contact Katie Dvorak (kdvorak@folger.edu). 

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The Gail Kern Paster Reading Room

The Gail Kern Paster Reading Room.

Tours of the Folger reading rooms

Scholars from all over the world come to the Folger reading rooms to use the Folger’s collection of Shakespeare and other early modern materials. We now offers guided tours of these famous rooms each Saturday. Visitors first see the Paster Reading Room (pictured at left), featuring Nicola d’Ascenzo’s famous stained glass window of the “Seven Ages of Man” and a bust of Shakespeare based on the one at his grave Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. Visitors then enter the Bond Reading Room to see portraits that may or may not be of Shakespeare.

We welcome visitors to tours of the reading rooms each Saturday from noon to 1 pm.

These tours are free, but advance reservations are required. Please request a tour reservation; reservations will be finalized with an email confirmation.

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Folger's Elizabethan garden

Folger Shakespeare Library’s Elizabethan Garden.

Tours of the Elizabethan Garden

The Folger Elizabethan garden features plants and design inspired by Shakespeare’s plays, as well as statues by Gregg Wyatt. Free docent-led tours take visitors into the outdoor world of Shakespeare’s time every Saturday, April through October at 10 am.