About the Fellowships Program
Folger Institute fellowships support individual scholarly and artistic research that enriches and expands our understanding of the early modern world. We value research that grapples with tough historical questions and that engages with what primary sources both say and do not say in order to produce histories encompassing diverse regions, questions, and methods. The Institute also aims to ensure equitable access to research funding by offering multiple fellowship modules and removing barriers to fellowship participation.
Each year the Folger Institute awards research fellowships to create a high-powered, multidisciplinary community of inquiry. This community of researchers may come from different fields, and their projects may find different kinds of expression. But our researchers share cognate interests in the history and literature, art and performance, philosophy, religion, and politics of the early modern world.
Intellectual inquiry engaged with primary materials is a hallmark of the Folger Institute fellowships program. The Folger’s extraordinary collections are essential to understanding the arts and humanities and their continued resonance and importance in our world. The fellowships program puts researchers into direct and sustained engagement with our rare and historic printed books, manuscripts, art, costumes, periodicals, prints, and visual resources, many of which are also increasingly available digitally. Our fellowships also give researchers the time and resources to bring their projects to fruition with guidance from professional staff and in conversation with others pursuing their own questions.
History of the Fellowships Program
The Institute has a long tradition of funding research fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library. The Folger, which opened in 1932, offered its first fellowships in 1935; the current, more extensive, fellowships initiative started in 1984. Funding for fellowships has grown through the generosity of major funding organizations, partner institutions, and generous individual endowments.