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What to expect when our building reopens in June 2024

We can’t wait to welcome visitors to our building on Capitol Hill after a multi-year renovation project. Here’s a taste of what you’ll be able to do after our building reopens Friday, June 21, 2024.

A large wall case displaying rows of single books laid flat and closed. In front of the case is a table with open books on display and a touchscreen.
Visitors can visually take in 82 copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio and then, via touchscreen, explore selected Folios further--as a detective, or a storyteller, or a collector. Rendering by Studio Joseph.

Explore our new exhibitions

Get up-close with the Folger’s world-famous collection, including our treasured First Folios, in the Shakespeare Exhibition Hall and the Stuart and Mimi Rose Rare Book and Manuscript Exhibition Hall. Try setting type, creating your own scene, and transcribing a 17th-century manuscript.

About the exhibition halls

See a performance

Folger programs return to their home in the Elizabethan Theatre after three years on the road. Attend plays and concerts presented by the award-winning Folger Theatre and Folger Consort, as well as poetry readings in the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series.

Folger programming will be thematically interwoven through exhibitions, learning, performances, and humanities programs, beginning with the 2023/24 “What’s Your Story?” themed-season. Subscribe today

children raising their hands and smiling during a family program

Learn with us

Dive into all kinds of learning with us: investigate collection items, join with other families to have fun with Shakespeare, take part in summer camp sessions, enjoy lively seminars and demonstrations, and participate in workshops for adults led by world-class researchers and artists.

Our new learning lab provides endless opportunities for all kinds of learners to connect with our exhibitions, research, conservation, programming, performance, and education work.

Enjoy our gardens

Relax in our new gardens, filled with both native plants and plants mentioned by Shakespeare. Enjoy open spaces and shade trees, including a heritage magnolia tree planted at the time of our 1932 opening. Don’t miss our iconic Puck fountain and our new Juliet balcony!

visitors looking at the Seven Ages of Man stained glass window in the Reading Room during a Shakespeare's Birthday open house

Take a tour

From the Shakespeare bas-reliefs on the front of our building to the incredible stained-glass windows in our historic Reading Room, there’s so much to see.

People gathering in the Great Hall during the daytime to talk and socialize

Meet up with friends

Once used for Folger exhibitions, the Great Hall is now your go-to spot for meeting friends or enjoying a good book, with comfortable seating and the new Quill & Crumb café.

selection of shop items including a Folger-branded t-shirt, a Folger-branded water bottle and mug, pencils, and a notebook


Find great souvenirs and presents in our expanded gift shop, such as a Folger tote bag or beautiful note cards featuring art from the Folger collection.

Encounter new art and poetry

New art includes a paper light sculpture, Cloud of Imagination, by Anke Neuman and a piece by Fred Wilson to be displayed in conversation with the Folger’s “Sieve” portrait of Queen Elizabeth I from 1579. Garden inscriptions include a new poem by US Poet Laureate Rita Dove.

More details about these Folger commissions

New Artwork Illuminates the Renovation
a light sculpture of optical fibers that support and illuminate paper shapes
Folger Story

New Artwork Illuminates the Renovation

Esther Ferington

A floating paper sculpture by Anke Neumann lights the stairs from the new visitor lobby to the historic theater above.

A New Poem by Rita Dove Invites Visitors Inside
A garden’s embroidery, its fringed pinks and reds, its humble hedges. Every day is Too Much
Folger Story

A New Poem by Rita Dove Invites Visitors Inside

Esther Ferington

Rita Dove shares the story behind her new poem, which is inscribed in the marble edge around the Folger’s west garden.

Research with rare materials

Are you a researcher? Our Reading Room is reopening Tuesday, June 25, 2024.


The Folger Reading Room