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Folger Shakespeare Library and Elizabethan Theatre

Folger Shakespeare Library and Elizabethan Theatre Review

The Folger Library's collection of works by and about Shakespeare and his times is second to none. The reading rooms are open only to academic researchers, but the white-marble art deco building, decorated with sculpted scenes from the Bard's plays, is well worth a look. Inside is a reproduction of a 16th-century inn-yard theater—the site for performances of chamber music, baroque opera, and Shakespearean plays—and a gallery, designed in the manner of an Elizabethan Great Hall, that holds rotating exhibits from the library's collection. One of the Folger's Shakespeare First Folios is always on view and may be thumbed through digitally in the Great Hall. A manicured Elizabethan garden on the grounds is open to the public, and the gift shop features many collectibles featuring the Bard and English theater. The building was designed by architect Paul Philippe Cret and dedicated in 1932. Henry Clay Folger, the library's founder, was Standard Oil's president and chairman of the board.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 201 E. Capitol St. SE, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC 20003 | Map It
  • Phone: 202/544–4600
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10–5, Sun. 12–5
  • Website:
  • Metro Capitol South.
  • Location: Capitol Hill
Updated: 06-05-2013

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