Set in Capitol Hill in a unique building that blends Streamline Moderne and Greco Deco, this independent research library contains the world’s largest collection of William Shakespeare’s printed works. Endowed by Shakespeare memorabilia collector Henry Clay Folger (a former chairman of the Standard Oil Company and a member of the Folger Coffee family), the library was opened 316 years to the day after the Bard’s death, on April 23, 1932.
In addition to its permanent collections and rotating art exhibits, the Library houses the three-tiered, Elizabethan-style Folger Theater, which each season stages three of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as literary readings and lectures.
Free, hour-long tours of the Library are offered without need for
reservations on Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. or 3 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. and 1
p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m. Elizabethan Garden tours are offered April
–October, on the first and third Saturdays of the month at 10 a.m. and
11 a.m. Reading Room tours, including the Library’s rare volumes and
art, on Saturdays from 12-1 p.m.; advance reservations are required.