The Complete Shakespeare Experience    

Elizabethan times, and British drama, literature, and culture from the 15th through the 18th centuries.

The library has the second-largest collection of English books printed prior to 1641 and also houses unrivaled collections of 18th and 19th Century book illustrations and theatrical collateral, such as theater programs, playbills, books, and costumes.

The library, named after Standard Oil Company of New York executive Henry Clay Folger (who bequeathed his Shakespeare collection to the American people and funded the library) was completed in 1932. The library’s reading room, available to advanced scholars, is only open to the public one day each year—Shakespeare’s birthday, celebrated with music, song, and dance.

A model Elizabethan theater and exhibition hall are open to the public.

The library publishes the Folger Facsimile series of booklets for the general reader and Shakespeare Quarterly. The Folger Institute is a center for advanced humanities studies founded by the Library and a consortium of universities.

The Folger

Shakespeare Library

Washington, D.C.

Visit the Folger Shakespeare Library Website


ith its approximately 280,000

books and manuscripts,

including 79 copies of the

First Folio (1623, the first

published collection of

Shakespeare’s plays) and about 7,000 other Shakespearean editions, the Folger

Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. Is

the leading research center for the study

of Shakespeare, his contemporaries,

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