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 November 17, 2023!
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.
Join us for in-person and virtual events.
Artists in the Archives: A conversation with Alexander D’Agostino and Mindy Stricke
Shakespeare Lightning Round: Brian B. Crowe
How to Teach ANY Play or Novel Fast & With Rigor
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
David West Read on & Juliet
Folger members can preview this podcast episode now!
Excerpt: "Shakespeare without a Life" by Margreta de Grazia
Did Shakespeare give much thought to how his works would survive after his death? Margreta de Grazia argues that his sonnets show he did.
“By false intelligence": AI, ChatGPT, and (the) Bard
Austin Tichenor finds that AI does not quite measure up to William Shakespeare when he asks ChatGPT and Bard to write a new play called “Cardenio.”
Philanthropy and Torture: Linking Workhouses and Plantations
Folger Fellow Justin Roberts explores the appearance of torture instruments in 17th century workhouses.
'The Daughter of Time' Resource Guide
Folger resources related to Richard III in preparation for our June Book Club discussion of The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey.
Excerpt: "Richard III's Bodies from Medieval England to Modernity"
The disabled body of Richard III, a historical English king and one of Shakespeare’s most iconic villains, is the focus of a recent book by Jeffrey R. Wilson.
Robert O'Hara on Directing Richard III
The award-winning director tells us what it’s like to direct Shakespeare in the Park. Spoiler: It’s a whirlwind.
Exploring the Folger through New Exhibition Halls
A preview of these new spaces
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.