About the Campaign

In 1932, in a stunning act of philanthropy, Emily and Henry Folger gave their life’s work – a breathtaking collection of rare books, manuscripts, and art – to the American people. They housed this gift on Capitol Hill in an extraordinary building just steps from cornerstones of American democracy. 
 
The Folgers understood the wonder of Will and committed their lives and legacy to ensuring that through access to and growth of their prolific collection, generations to come could engage in meaningful conversation with William Shakespeare and the early modern world. For nearly 90 years, the Folger Shakespeare Library has stewarded their mission. 
 
Just as our collection of rare materials has grown and evolved, so have the needs to access it. Faced with insurmountable limitations of our original footprint to exhibit rare materials, and need for restoration, accessibility, and systems upgrades to our historic home, the Board of Governors of the Folger Shakespeare Library approved a renovation and expansion project to address these urgencies, and to increase visitorship and impact with new public spaces. 
 
To realize the full potential of this effort, the Board of Governors also approved a capital campaign to fund construction and other strategic priorities of a public-facing Folger. The $50 million campaign will fulfill and further our mission by sharing our collection and programs with the American people and the world as the 21st century demands. 
 
The Wonder of Will: The Campaign for the Folger Shakespeare Library launched April 15, 2019, and will conclude with the dedication of the New Pavilion in 2022-2023.
 
Naming opportunities in the New Pavilion, exterior plazas and gardens, and historic Cret building are available for $100,000 to $10 million. In addition to providing capital support—our greatest need—gifts may be unrestricted or support the Folger’s collection, scholarly research, education, and public programs. New endowments may be established for gifts of $50,000 or more.
 
Donors of $1 million or more may sponsor one of the Folger’s 82 First Folios in perpetuity and be recognized with that Folio in the First Folio Gallery in the Shakespeare Exhibition Hall, where the extraordinary collection will be on permanent display.
 
All donors of $25,000+ to The Wonder of Will will be recognized in publications and reports throughout the campaign. Donors of $100,000+ will be recognized on a donor wall in the New Pavilion.
 
For more information, please contact the Office of Development at 202.675.0303 or wow@folger.edu.