Tours

We invite visitors to enter the world of Shakespeare at Folger Shakespeare Library!

Docent-led tours offer visitors a chance to explore the library and see one of the Folger's 82 First Folios. Step inside the Founders' Room to hear the story of Henry Clay Folger and Emily Jordan Folger, their love of Shakespeare, and their vision to create the Folger Shakespeare Library as a gift to the American people. Tours take visitors into the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre, as well as through the current exhibition in the Great Hall.

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Docent and First Folio
Photo by Chester Simpson

Daily Walk-In Tours

Free docent-led tours are offered daily, with no reservation required:

  • Monday through Saturday at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm
  • Sunday at 12 pm and 3 pm

Our daily tours are great for groups smaller than 15 guests. If the Folger is a later addition to your DC trip, please consider joining these tours if the times work with your schedule.

Other Tours

The Folger offers exhibition-focused tours of our current exhibition every Wednesday at 12 pm and Saturday at 2 pm. These are free and no reservation is required.

We also offer a limited number of collection-focused visits, and can arrange tours for classroom groups.

To request a Group Tour, please fill out our visit request form.

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Photo by David Reeve
Photo Credit: 
David Reeve

Tours of the Folger Reading Rooms

Scholars from all over the world come to the Folger reading rooms to use the Folger’s Shakespeare and early modern collections.

Guided tours for visitors are available on Saturdays from noon to 1pm and on Sundays from 1–2pm.

Visitors first see the Paster Reading Room (pictured), featuring Nicola d’Ascenzo’s famous stained glass window of the “Seven Ages of Man” and a bust of Shakespeare based on the one at his grave Holy Trinity Church in Stratford, before entering the adjoining Bond Reading Room.

These tours are free, but advance reservations are required. Please request a tour reservation; reservations will be finalized with an email confirmation.

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Folger's Elizabethan garden

Tours of the Elizabethan Garden

The Folger Elizabethan Garden features plants and design inspired by Shakespeare’s plays, as well as statues by Greg Wyatt.

Free docent-led tours take visitors into the outdoor world of Shakespeare’s time every Saturday, April through October, at 10 am.

More Information

For more information, contact Greg Armstrong (garmstrong@folger.edu).