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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. Need an overview? Check out our instructional videos for the catalog basics and more search tips. Questions about the collection? Fill out our Ask A Librarian form.

Digital Image Collection

The Digital Image Collection offers online access to images from the Folger’s collection, 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, and construct persistent URLs linking back to items or searches. Users who create accounts can also save groups of images.


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.

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. These online finding aids are accessible in two ways: you may browse through the list of finding aids or you may use the search function to find all mentions of your search term across all of the finding aids.

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.

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.

The Folger Shakespeare

The Folger Shakespeare, the digital editions of the Folger’s long-running Shakespeare editions, allows readers to access Shakespeare’s plays and poems easily and for free, including on mobile phones and tablets. Search for your favorite quote, or download the text as PDFs, XML, or docs.

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, 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. Learn more about how to navigate the site and contact us with questions.

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.

More Resources

All of these resources, more Folger created and hosted sites, and a whole long list of freely available sites that might be of interest are available on our Digital Resources List on Folgerpedia.