Welcome to the Folger
Enjoy great stories | Explore what makes you curious | Share the best in art, history, and literature with friends and family at the world’s largest Shakespeare collection.
Our building is reopening this fall!
Plan your visit
Be the first to explore our new exhibition galleries, learning labs, cafe, and expanded gardens after a three-year building renovation. Check out our list of five must dos, take a drone tour of our historic spaces, and see what’s on stage.
Discover what’s playing and on exhibit, both on the road and virtually, including our Searching for Shakespeare: Celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare’s First Folio festival in April.
Pass the Story On: Shakespeare’s First Folio at 400
The Bard, the Griot, and the Hip Hop Tradition
Words! Words! Words!
How did the world’s largest Shakespeare collection end up one block from the US Capitol? Explore the Folger’s origin story.
The latest from our blogs and podcast
“They do me wrong”: Reputation, Richard III, and The Lost King
Shakespeare’s play Richard III turns real people into fictional villains, as does a new movie about the search for Richard III’s remains, writes Austin Tichenor.
Marion Turner on The Wife of Bath: A Biography
Marion Turner’s new book is a biography of Geoffrey Chaucer’s most famous character.
Q&A: "Our Verse in Time to Come" playwrights Malik Work and Karen Ann Daniels
Playwrights Malik Work and Karen Ann Daniels share more the creation of Our Verse in Time to Come and spring boarding off Shakespeare.
Excerpt: "White People in Shakespeare"
White People in Shakespeare examines what part Shakespeare played in the construction of a “white people” and how his work has been enlisted to define and bolster a white cultural and racial identity.
We know you think Julius Caesar is boring
We ask theater artists across the country to tell us why it isn’t.
The First Folio
The Folger has the world’s largest collection of First Folios. Learn more about the book that gave us Shakespeare.
A majestic portrait
The Folger collection includes about 200 paintings. This portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by George Gower is dated 1579 making it the oldest painting in our collection. Two years after he completed this portrait, Gower became Serjeant Painter to the Queen, making him the most important artist in England.
Our other Elizabeth I holdings include hand-signed letters, books, and even New Year’s gift rolls detailing her holiday gifts. It is the largest collection of Elizabeth I materials in North America.
View the full list of plays and poems to read, search, and download our bestselling editions of Shakespeare’s works.
Shakespeare’s most popular plays
What was Shakespeare's theater like?
Learn about the Globe and other London playhouses where Shakespeare’s company performed. What was it like to be an actor there, or an audience member?
How can Shakespeare help 21st-century students be stronger readers?
Our Folger Method is revolutionizing how not just Shakespeare but all literature is taught using strategies that allow all students to own – and enjoy – complex texts.
If we are what we eat, what can recipes from the past tell us?
Projects like Before ‘Farm to Table’ unite scholars and practitioners in investigations into the past to shed light on what matters to us today.
Support the things you love
Your gifts make access to our collection, learning opportunities, and exciting experiences happen.