The Folger Shakespeare Library

The Folger Shakespeare Library is located on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C and is home to the largest collection of Shakespeare items in the world. In addition to its Shakespeare collection, the library also boasts other collections of rare Renaissance-era manuscripts, books and works of art.

The Folger Library was opened in 1932 and was given as a gift to the American people by its founders Henry and Emily Folger as an institution to advance both knowledge and the arts. Throughout their lives, the Folger’s were keen collectors of Shakespeare material and together they planned the building which would house their immense collection.

Once opened the Folger collections continued to expand and the library soon became a world-class research centre, not only for the study of Shakespeare but also for the history of the early modern western world. Within the first few decades of being established, the Library began to run public outreach programs offering lectures and exhibitions. These continue into the present day. The Folger runs cultural and arts programs including music, poetry, exhibitions, film screenings and lectures.

The Folger also offers advanced humanities programs and is actively involved in how Shakespeare is taught in the classroom. They produce resources for teachers to use in schools and for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Bard and his works. Regular publications include ‘Folger Editions’, ‘Shakespeare Quarterly’ and the ‘Folger Magazine’.