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Research /

Use the library

The Reading Room is closed for our building renovation project. It will reopen Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

Discover our many available online resources and virtual reference services in the meantime.

The Folger’s collection of 15th- through 18th-century rare books and manuscripts from Great Britain and Europe, editions of Shakespeare’s plays, materials related to art, performance, and theatrical history through the 20th-century, 19th-century scholarship of Shakespeare and contemporaries, and Shakespeare-related ephemera all support a wide variety of research and inquiry.

Whether you are a student, an artist, an educator, a researcher, or anyone else who might have use of our collections, we invite you to explore and see what you can find. So pull up a chair (virtual for now!) and see how the Folger can help you with your research.

Connect with the Researcher Services Team

Our Researcher Services team is here to support you. We can easily be reached from our Ask A Librarian page. Through this form we can answer questions or set up a web conference for individual research consultations. Ask us about:

  • Primary Source Research: We can help you find material both at the Folger and elsewhere in the world.
  • Secondary Source Research: We can identify scholarship related to your work and help you find ways to access those books and articles.
  • General Subject Assistance: If you’re just getting started on a topic, we can point you to places to start your research.

Being a Folger Researcher

Registered researchers have access to select electronic databases through their online request account.

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Online Resources

Accessible from any internet connected device, these Folger created and hosted resources will jump start your research.

Online Instructional Videos

Need tips and tricks for searching our catalog or guidance for using online resources? Check out our videos on Research How-Tos.