Posts Categorized: Folger-finds

Top Folger Finds on Instagram in 2021: Shakespeare books

Calling all book lovers! Some of our most popular #FolgerFinds posts on Instagram this year featured beautiful bindings of Shakespeare’s collected works or early editions of Shakespeare plays that may have slightly different plot elements than the versions we’ve come to see as standard. One of these quartos, an early edition of A Midsummer Night’s… Continue Reading »


Miniature models of the Globe—with Folger connections

There is a long tradition of attempting to reconstruct the 1599 Globe, the multi-level open-air playhouse where many of Shakespeare’s plays were first performed. It will always be difficult to determine various details about the 1599 Globe, which burned to the ground on June 29, 1613, at a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, when an… Continue Reading »


Folger Finds: Edwin Booth’s royal tunic

Marking the anniversary of actor Edwin Booth’s birth on November 13, 1833, we explore a stunning historical costume from the Folger collection: an embroidered-velvet tunic that Booth wore onstage as King Richard III.


Helena Modjeska, a shining Polish-American star

Born on October 12, 1840, the Shakespearean star Helena Modjeska shone bright in two very different theatrical worlds, first becoming a leading lady in Warsaw and then, after moving to Anaheim, California, launching a second career as a leading actress in the United States.


Folger Finds: A Shakespeare quilt

When you picture what’s in the Folger collection, many people imagine books and manuscripts from the early modern period — and we do have a lot of those! But the Folger also collects a variety of Shakespeare-related objects, including this quilt created in 1986: “Homage to Shakespeare ’With wonder great as my content’.”


Folger Finds: A carved oak casket for holding a Shakespeare First Folio

Imagine buying a book and having the queen of England give you a special case in which to store it! That’s what happened after wealthy heiress Angela Burdett-Coutts purchased a Shakespeare First Folio in 1864: Queen Victoria gave her a carved casket made from Herne’s Oak, a tree at Windsor that had been felled by… Continue Reading »


Five Folger Finds for beating the heat and cooling off this summer

Is the July heat getting to you? Here are five items from the Folger Shakespeare Library collection that are just right for summertime. 1. A 1699 guide to swimming “In the seventeenth century, swimming was viewed not so much as a recreational pastime but more as an exercise in self-discipline and a mechanical art through… Continue Reading »


Folger Finds: Photographs of Hamlet in Japan

In a recent post on the Folger’s Collation blog, assistant curator Elizabeth DeBold shared a small set of photographs, newly added to the Folger collection, that document a 1933 Japanese production of Hamlet: These five photos provide a glimpse of a production of Hamlet performed at the Tsukiji Shogekijo, the “Tsukiji Little Theater,” aptly named… Continue Reading »


Up Close: Lady Macbeth, America, and the stain of slavery

In a famous scene from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the sleep-walking Lady Macbeth desperately attempts to scrub her hands clean of the (invisible) blood stains from the murders committed by her and her husband. “Out, damned spot, out, I say!” she says, as her gentlewoman and a doctor secretly observe. “What, will these hands ne’er be clean?”… Continue Reading »


Up Close: A ‘Seven Ages of Man’ painting

Take a closer look at a 19th-century oil painting in the Folger collection that depicts all seven ages of man from Jaques’s speech in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”