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.
Eudora Welty Lecture: Elizabeth Strout
The Bard, the Griot, and the Hip Hop Tradition
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
We know you think Julius Caesar is boring
We ask theater artists across the country to tell us why it isn’t.
Othello: what’s in a name?
Simon Newman examines the use of the name “Othello” given to enslaved people on both sides of the Atlantic.
Patrick Page on King Lear and Shakespeare's Villains
Patrick Page tells us how he gets inside the mind of Lear in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s 2023 production.
Birds of Shakespeare: The European robin
According to Renaissance folklore, robins were kind and adored humans so deeply that if one came upon a person who had passed away, it would place flowers on the body.
A 17th Century Letter Collection, Part 2: Travelling Around Early Modern England, 1630-1632
A continued look at the Powell family letters.
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.