While in Residence

Many scholars come to consider the Folger Shakespeare Library a second home. Its deep and varied collections foster discoveries, research tangents, and new projects. Discussing them with new colleagues enhances the scholarly community drawn to the Folger. We hope that you will enjoy a fruitful and productive stay whether you are here for a long-term fellowship, a weekend seminar, or a quick visit between semesters.

Using the collection and Reading Room

Every rare book collection has slightly different rules, so if you are new to the Folger but have used other research libraries, please familiarize yourself with our reading room guidelines.

If you are entirely new to using rare materials, we have created a short video to give you some pointers.

Our philosophy at the Folger is that readers are the front line of conservation. Each reader should use the materials as gently as possible and report any damage to the reading room staff immediately so that it may be repaired in our world-class conservation lab.

Making social connections at the Folger

We encourage you to get to know us and your fellow scholars  while you’re here. Check the sign-in sheet at the reader registrar’s desk to find out who is in residence. Come to tea at 3:00 pm each weekday to meet and share ideas. Or pick up lunch from Pennsylvania Avenue and join us for the Works-in-Progress lunchtime presentations, which are announced via listservs like Folger-Institute-Commons, Twitter (@FolgerResearch), and on the flyer at the Reader Registrar’s desk.

You can also participate in the Folger’s social media. Fellows are encouraged to write about their discoveries on the Library’s research blog, The Collation; if you'd like to contribute, email collation@folger.edu to discuss the possibility. Most talks in the Works-in-Progress lunchtime series are open for tweeting using the #FolgerInstitute hashtag. If you tweet your own research discoveries and images of items from the collection, please mention @FolgerResearch, so that we can share your work more broadly. 

Other Folger opportunities

We are much more than a special collections library. While you are here, take advantage of all the Folger offers, from award-winning plays and concerts to poetry readings and exhibitions.