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The mission of the Folger Shakespeare Library is to preserve and enhance its collections; to render the collections, in appropriate formats, accessible to scholars; and to advance understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare's writings and of the culture of early modern Europe more generally through various programs designed for all students and for the general public.
The Folger Shakespeare Library, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, is a world-class research center on Shakespeare and on the early modern age in the West. It is home to the world's largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials and to major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art.
The Folger is known for its wide array of scholarly and public programs. These include plays, concerts, literary readings, family activities, and exhibitions, as well as numerous K-12 and college programs for students and teachers. Advanced scholars participate in a variety of Folger Institute seminars and colloquia. The Folger's major publications include award-winning exhibition catalogs, the New Folger Library Shakespeare editions, and the journal Shakespeare Quarterly.
The Folger opened in 1932 as a gift to the American nation from Henry Clay Folger and his wife Emily Jordan Folger. It is administered by a Board of Governors under the auspices of Amherst College, Henry Folger's alma mater.
The Folger is a member of the Independent Research Libraries Association, the National Humanities Alliance, and the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington. It is an associate member of the American Council of Learned Societies