Change in the Fellowships Program
Fellowships have supported research and writing done at the Folger Shakespeare Library throughout the Folger's history. Due to a major building renovation project beginning in 2020, the Folger Institute is now offering fellowships for research and writing away from the Folger during the construction period.
We have big plans in the works for Fellowships when the Folger reopens. Want to stay up-to-date with what’s happening with the Fellowships program, and with renovation progress, as they both unfold? Subscribe to the Research Bulletin email newsletter
History of the Fellowships Program
The Institute has a long tradition of funding research fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library. The Library, which opened in 1932, offered its first fellowships in 1935; the current, more extensive, and more senior fellowships initiative had its start in 1984. The Fellowships Program has grown through the continued generosity of organizations such as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council on Learned Societies. Folger fellowships also draw from dedicated endowments built up over decades of support.
Working with the Folger Collection
The Folger’s extraordinary collections are essential to understanding the humanities and their continued resonance and importance in our world. The Fellowships Program brings our rare and historic art, books, costumes, manuscripts, periodicals, prints, and visual resources immediately to life. We put scholars, artists, performers, and practitioners into direct and sustained engagement with the collections, with our many innovative digital resources, and with one another.
Folger fellows join together to create a high-powered, multidisciplinary community of scholars, who come from different fields but who share cognate interests in literature and history, art and performance, philosophy, religion, and politics. Scholarly discovery is a hallmark of the Folger Institute Fellowships Program. Our fellows are given the time and resources to bring their research projects to fruition. And they do so in the company of other scholars who are also engaged in testing ideas, weighing arguments, and stimulating fresh approaches to research, performance, and writing.
The Folger Institute also fosters collegiality and cooperation through its fellowships programming, designed to bring fellows into conversation with one another, with the Folger’s curators and scholars, and with members of the academic community. These events include research colloquia, working lunches, hands-on examinations of materials from the Folger collection with Folger curators, and reading group discussions on the most recent works of literary criticism, history, philosophy, and theatre studies.