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Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC

Categories: Libraries, Traveler Resources
Inspirock Rating:
4.2/5 based on 140+ reviews on the web
Folger Shakespeare Library is located in Washington DC. See Folger Shakespeare Library and all Washington DC has to offer by arranging your trip with our Washington DC vacation route planner.
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  • Just another Washington monolith outside but like a Tudor hall or London Gentleman's Club inside. Collection of Shakespeare's books inside in the reference library, including a first folio of "Romeo a...  read more »
  • I attended a whimsical production of Sense and Sensibility in September 2016. I called for tickets and was offered the senior discount. The theater is easily reached on the Metro (no issues with safet...  read more »
  • Love this place. The Will and Jane exhibit was wonderful. The tour was great--it's always amazing to see a First Folio. Staff is incredible and helpful. Best of all, it's all free--gotta love DC. This...  read more »
  • "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." If you're a fan of the Bard, the Folger Shakespeare Library and Theatre is the place to be. I studied Shakespeare in both high school and college, and I've always enjoyed reading his plays. So of course when Shakespeare's 400th birthday rolled around on Saturday and I heard that Folger was having a birthday celebration for him on Sunday, I knew I had to partake. The Folger Shakespeare Library/Theatre is home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection and home to other major collections of Renaissance books, manuscripts, and artwork. Not only is Folger a dwelling for the preservation of rare books and manuscripts and a theatre for plays and readings, it is also a dedicated research library for advanced scholarly programs. There are about 160,000 printed books; 60,000 manuscripts; 90,000 prints, drawings, photographs, paintings, and other works of art housed in this building. Very extensive and world-renowned. It is a gorgeous building both inside and out. Located just a block from the Capitol, the white marble neoclassical exterior is in perfect sync with the other nearby buildings. The gorgeous interior design evokes Tudor England, with oak paneling, ornate floor tiles, and high baroque ceilings. My favorite rooms were the theatre and the Reading Room. The cozy theatre has three-tiered balconies, carved oak columns, and a canopy that resembles the sky. The perfect place for Folger Theatre productions, readings, concerts, and student performances. My absolute favorite, though, has to be the Gail Kern Paster Reading Room. When you walk in, you can't help but let out an audible gasp or "wow." The room, with its carved oak paneling and high ceilings, features tapestries, portraits, chandeliers, and Nicola d’Ascenzo’s famous, beautiful stained glass window of the “Seven Ages of Man." There's also a bust of Shakespeare based on the one that's at his grave in Stratford-upon-Avon. A couple of long tables sit in this room where scholars from around the world come and use Folger's collection. The Reading Room is limited to scholars and researchers, and it is only open to the public for Saturday tours and for their annual Shakespeare's Birthday Open House in April. During Shakespeare's Birthday Open House, Folger arranges a day of activities for families. You can see the Reduced Shakespeare Company perform, tour the Reading Room, hear musical performances, perform a soliloquy on stage, check out swordfighting demos, and lots more. You can tour the building and the grounds any day of the week. They offer free, docent-led tours Mondays to Saturdays at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. On Sundays, they offer tours at 12pm and 3pm.
  • Good library and nice, albay small, exhibition. Watch a play as the room is small and you are close the the stage.
  • Amazing library!
  • The tour was nice and informational
  • I'm not terribly familiar with their collection, but I do go to the Folger Theatre on a regular basis for their spectacular performances of Shakespeare plays. Always top-notch acting and set design for a generally reasonable price (especially if you are a subscriber). I highly recommend checking it out.
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