Online Resources

The Folger offers a broad array of online resources to aid students and scholars with their research on Shakespeare and the early modern period. 

Catalog | Digital Image Collection | Folgerpedia | The Collation | Shakespeare Documented | Miranda | Finding Aid Database | Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) | Shakespeare's World | Private Libraries in Renaissance England (PLRE.Folger) | Union Line First Index

Catalog of the Folger Shakespeare Library 

The Folger catalog contains bibliographic records for books, manuscripts, art, and objects in the Folger collection (both physical and digital). Many of these records contain detailed descriptions of contents, provenance, and physical characteristics. Others are collection-level records for archival materials described in detail in the Finding Aid Database. Note that some are "preliminary" records for material that has not yet been fully described, or with a full description only in the card catalog. Questions about the collection? Fill out our Ask A Librarian form.

Digital Image Collection

The Digital Image Collection (or LUNA, as we sometimes call it) offers online access to over 100,000 images from the Folger Shakespeare Library, including books, theater memorabilia, manuscripts, and art. Users can show multiple images side-by-side, zoom in and out, view cataloging information when available, export high-resolution images up to 1536 pixels, and construct persistent URLs linking back to items or searches. Users who create accounts can also save groups of images. Tips on using LUNA

Folgerpedia

Folgerpedia is the Folger's collaboratively-edited, search-based encyclopedia of all things related to the Folger or of interest to the Folger community. The articles are contributed by the staff of various departments within the institution, as well as Folger readers and other scholars. Many different types of articles can be found on Folgerpedia, including those that cover:

  • Shakespeare's works and characters
  • Shakespeare’s plays in performance
  • Past scholarly programming at the Folger Institute
  • Items in the Folger’s collection
  • Relevant early modern resources

We welcome contributions to Folgerpedia from all interested parties. Learn more about our contributor policy and email folgerpedia@folger.edu to get started!

The Collation 

The Collation is a blog featuring scholarship from the Folger. The Collation posts weekly and features items from the collections, research being done by staff and readers, tips on using our online resources, and glimpses into the Folger’s scholarly programming.

Shakespeare Documented

Shakespeare Documented  is the largest and most authoritative collection of primary-source materials documenting the life and career of William Shakespeare (1564–1616). A multi-institutional collaboration with more than 35 partner institutions, the website brings together all known manuscript and print references to Shakespeare, his works, and additional references to his family, in his lifetime and shortly thereafter. Over 550 references, found in over 400 print and manuscript documents, provide a rich portrait of Shakespeare as a professional playwright, actor, poet, business man, and family man who lived in both London and Stratford-upon-Avon. Curated by Heather Wolfe. 

Miranda

Miranda is the Folger's digital asset platform, a tool to help you discover the Folger's digital collections. Miranda holds thousands of items, from images to audio, datasets, videos, and bibliographic information. Users can save items to a personal shelf and share it with others, compare images in Mirador, and much more. 

Finding Aid Database

The Folger Shakespeare Library Finding Aid Database provides finding aids for the Folger's manuscript and archival collections. These finding aids give detailed descriptions about the creation, historical context, arrangement, and content of collections of papers, as well as the information necessary for readers to identify and request the specific documents relevant to their research. These online finding aids are accessible in two ways: you may browse through the list of finding aids to locate by name a particular collection of papers (for example, the Bacon-Townshend Collection of papers), or you may use the search function to find all mentions of your search term across all of the finding aids (for example, if you searched for "Padua," you would be shown all of the places across all of the finding aids where Padua is mentioned).

Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO)

Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) makes a variety of rare manuscripts from the Folger’s collection available for free via an easy, searchable website with high-quality images and consistent transcriptions of letters, diaries, wills, coats of arms, literary pieces, recipe books, miscellanies, and more. Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the project offers online access to a substantial number of English manuscripts from the 16th and 17th centuries. Learn more: EMMO article on Folgerpedia and EMMO posts on The Collation.

Shakespeare's World

Shakespeare’s World is a past collaboration between the Folger, Zooniverse.org at Oxford University, and the Oxford English Dictionary of Oxford University Press. The project invited volunteers to transcribe manuscripts created by thousands of men and women who lived during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the time of Shakespeare. Much of the handwriting from this time period was done in a style known as secretary hand, which is difficult for most 21st century people to read and can make studying these manuscripts a slow and cumbersome process for scholars. And, unlike with printed documents, no large searchable database of manuscripts exists, limiting the extent of research. Fully transcribed and vetted manuscript images from Shakespeare's World were added to the online database for Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO)

Private Libraries in Renaissance England (PLRE.Folger)

PLRE.Folger, the database version of Private Libraries in Renaissance England (PLRE), transcribes and annotates the book lists produced between the beginning of the sixteenth century and the mid-seventeenth century. It also reconstructs private library holdings of that period based on extant books. PLRE.Folger consists of:

  • All the annotated book-lists that appear in the published volumes of the PLRE
  • Appended book-lists, which do not appear in the printed volumes.

Union First Line Index

The Union First Line Index enables cross-institutional literary research by providing a database of the first lines of manuscript verse held by contributing institutions. Researchers can enter keywords as search terms and limit by facets such as Shelfmark or Women only, and limit searches to specific institutions.