The Folger Story

Get to know the Folger Shakespeare Library: our world-renowned collection, exhibitions and performances, research and education initiatives, and more. 
Learn about Shakespeare and his world as we open up the Folger collection and go behind-the-scenes with curators, conservators, and other experts. Step into an exciting world of theater, music, and poetry. Walk alongside teachers who are bringing Shakespeare to the next generation. Hear from donors, board members, volunteers, and others who are dedicated to the Folger mission.

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From lifting marble slabs weighing thousands of pounds to digging out the excavation site, the Folger building renovation project is well underway—and laying the groundwork for its next steps, too.

After more than a year of preparation, a massive tree just moved 100 feet across the Folger landscape, marking the start of a building renovation that will add exhibition galleries, collaborative research spaces, and more.

Restoration work on the bas reliefs

The Folger’s exterior façade underwent restoration because the soft Georgia marble used in the construction of the Folger 88 years ago was showing signs of severe weathering. 

Michael Wiltmore. Photo by Chris Hartlove

Folger Director Michael Witmore writes about appreciation for and stewardship of the Folger Shakespeare Library's historic building.

Teacher Alexa Bernard (right) with her students at the 2018 Cornerstones Festival at the Folger. Photo by Teresa Wood.

The DCPS-Folger Romeo and Juliet curriculum and the DCPS-Folger Hamlet curriculum are used in nearly every ninth or tenth grade classroom, in every DCPS high school. 

Both familiar and eerily different, the Folger's landmark production of Macbeth — a 17th-century adaptation of Shakespeare's bloody tragedy — offers new ideas for scholarly research and modern performance.

Illustration by Sherrill Cooper

Without benefit of online dating and wedding planners, how did people come together and wed in early modern England?

UNESCO has given 90 documents (six of them at the Folger) the same cultural status as the Magna Carta and the Gutenberg Bible.