• Yassine El Mansouri Photography

    The World's Largest Shakespeare Collection

    The Folger Shakespeare Library, established on Capitol Hill in 1932 as a gift to the American people, is home to the world’s largest collection of First Folios, the book that gave us Shakespeare. Learn more about the First Folio and see other treasures from the Shakespeare collection.

    About the First Folio Shakespeare Collection

  • (left-right) Hunter Ringsmith, Lilli Hokama, Renea S. Brown, Bryan Barbarin. Photo by Peggy Ryan.

    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Join us this summer for A Midsummer Night's Dream. Folger Theatre brings Shakespeare's magical romp to life as part of The Playhouse at the National Building Museum.

    Buy Tickets More Folger Events

  • J.R. Brantley

    Exploring Shakespeare & the Folger Collection

    Dive into the vast Folger collection to discover more about Shakespeare and the early modern world. Get support from our Researcher Services team, and explore scholarly programs and fellowship opportunities with Folger Institute.

    Ask a Librarian Folger Institute

  • Lloyd Wolf

    Studying and Teaching Shakespeare

    Read, search, and download the full texts of Shakespeare's plays and poems, available online for free. High school teachers can find Shakespeare lesson plans and professional development at Folger Teaching.

    The Folger Shakespeare Folger Teaching

  • The Wonder of Will

    The Wonder of Will: The Campaign for the Folger Shakespeare Library is raising $50 million to support a major building renovation project and the Folger’s many programs that bring Shakespeare and his world to life for scholars, students, enthusiasts, and you. A new pavilion will feature exhibition galleries and accessible, inviting public spaces.

    The Wonder of Will Building Renovation

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CULTURAL ICONS

The Beatles and the Bard

Did you know that in April 1964 the Beatles performed the "Pyramus and Thisbe" scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream on TV? While the Fab Four mainly stick to Shakespeare's script, the moments when they play with the text stand out.

Read the Blog Post

SHAKESPEARE UNLIMITED PODCAST

Pamela Hutchinson on Asta Nielsen's Hamlet

In 1921 one of the world’s biggest movie stars, Asta Nielsen, decided to make a version of Hamlet where the lead character was born a woman, a fact that was kept secret from nearly all of the play’s characters for her entire life.

Podcast Interview More Podcast Episodes

FOLGER FELLOWS

Birds of Shakespeare

Missy Dunaway, an American artist and recipient of a Folger fellowship, shares her paintings of the birds that appear in Shakespeare’s works, along with explorations of their literary associations.

About the Paintings See the Barnacle Goose

FROM THE DIRECTOR

As an institution representing the arts and humanities, part of our role in civic life is to take deep questions and deep disagreements and meet them with a knowledge of history and a passion for greater understanding.
  • Midsummer tickets now on sale!

    Folger Theatre returns to live performances with A Midsummer Night's Dream at the National Building Museum this summer, July 12 - August 28, 2022. Be enchanted by this 90-minute delightful and romantic dream. Tickets starting at $20.

  • Autumn Leaves: Streaming through June 30

    Jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut joins poets Kyle Dargan and Lenard D. Moore for an intimate improvisation on words and music. Part reading, part concert, each artist shares their powerful compositions to spark and inspire one another in this free style performance. On-demand through June 30, 2022.

  • Eudora Welty Lecture: Through June 30

    New York Times best-selling author Ann Patchett (Bel Canto and The Dutch House) visited the home museum of Eudora Welty in Jackson, Mississippi and ended her tour in the living room where she delivered this year's Eudora Welty Lecture and conversation. On-demand through June 30, 2022.

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    Shakespeare Lightning Round

    Tune in on Instagram Live for a fun, fast-paced, Shakespearean chat show. We ask our guests 30 lightning-fast questions about their favorite—and least favorite—things about the Bard.

Upcoming Folger Events & Programs

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