Miller Center

Folger Shakespeare Library

CPC Catalog > Organization: Folger Shakespeare Library

Location [ map ]

201 E Capitol St SE

Washington, DC 20003


Welcome to the Folger Shakespeare Library, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, a block from the US Capitol. Home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection and to major collections of other rare Renaissance books,manuscripts, and works of art, the Folger serves a wide audience of scholars,visitors, teachers, students, families, and theater- and concert-goers. 

The Folger is a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K–12. We produce publications and resources—in print and online—to support teachers, students, and lifelong learners interested in Shakespeare’s plays and the world that shaped them, including the Folger Editions, which are the number one Shakespeare text used in American classrooms today. We publish Shakespeare Quarterly, the premiere journal for Shakespeare scholarship, as well as the award-winningFolger Magazine. Our wide variety of cultural and arts programs include theater, music, poetry, exhibitions, lectures, screenings, and family programs.

The Folger Shakespeare Library's founders, Henry Clay Folger and his wife Emily Jordan Folger, established the Folger in 1932 as a gift to the American people. Emily Folger later wrote of Henry Folger’s belief that “the poet is one of our best sources, one of the wells from which we Americans draw our national thought, our faith and our hope.” This belief in the deep connection between Shakespeare and America is the reason the Folger is located in the nation’s capital. Throughout a long career in the oil industry, Henry Folger, with his wife’s assistance, built the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare materials. Together, Henry and Emily Folger then planned the library that would house their collection.
After it opened in 1932, the Folger steadily expanded its holdings to become a world-class research center on the early modern age in the West, while remaining the premier center for Shakespeare studies and resources outside of England. Its public outreach programs, beginning in the library’s early decades with exhibitions, lectures, and publications, have also grown over time. Today they include Folger Theatre productions, early-music concerts by the Folger Consort, the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series, fiction readings through the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, the Folger Shakespeare Library editions in their various forms, and a lively array of education offerings for teachers, students, and families.


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Note that this is an incomplete collections list. Please contact the organization directly for the most current information about their holdings.