Before You Arrive

Arrange your lodging

If you are attending a weekend seminar or conference sponsored by the Folger Institute, you will be sent information about a hotel reservation during your stay. Otherwise, the Folger has a range of housing options for visiting researchers, including apartments and guesthouse rooms. All Folger properties are located within a block of the Library. Folger housing reservations are made according to a booking calendar that gives priority to those funded by the Folger. All Folger reservations are coordinated by the Folger’s property manager, Jodie Pitman. Please contact her with any questions.

Register as a reader

Before you may access the Folger collection, you will need to register as a reader using our Aeon online request system. Reader's cards are renewable annually for most categories of readers. Fellows and scholarly program participants do not need to provide further materials for their reader’s cards, because their application letters of support will be automatically forwarded to the reader registrar. Other scholars will want to send their materials in advance. When you arrive at the Folger we will ask you to present a government-issued picture ID; we will also take a photo for your reader’s card and online request account.

Remotely access online resources

You can maximize your reading room time by locating and requesting ahead of time the rare materials you'll need through the online request system. You may copy information into online requests from the online catalog, Hamnet, or manuscript materials from our Finding Aids. Feel free to also browse our digital image collection, Luna. You may also want to familiarize yourself with the many subscription databases you can take advantage of while in residence.

What to pack

Remember to include two critical items in your suitcase: a digital camera and a sweater. Readers are welcome to photograph most of the materials they are using. More information on what can be photographed and what uses you can make of your photographs can be found in our camera use policy.

Why a sweater? The library maintains optimal temperatures for the care of our collections. Some areas that hold materials, including the reading rooms, may be chilly in order to keep humidity levels low.

Familiarize yourself with Washington, DC

Washington is a beautiful, culturally vibrant capital. If this is your first time to DC, you may want to visit the tourist guide for first timers. We have a wonderful mass transit system, the Metro, with trains and buses that can get you to most parts of the city if you don’t feel like walking. Even if you know your way around DC, there’s always something new to see and do. Visit the official travel website for the latest updates on 100 free attractions, the best restaurants, and much more. Enjoy!