Posts Categorized: Folger-finds

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.”



Up Close: Three scenes from Hamlet

Can you identify what’s happening in each of these three scenes from Hamlet? The drawings by British illustrator John Jellicoe are part of the Folger collection.


Top 5 Folger Finds of 2020

Revisit the bright spots of 2020 by taking a look at some of our most popular #FolgerFinds posts on Instagram from the past year. Highlights from the Folger collection include a beautiful book binding, a striking costume design, and a droll owl illustration.


Early modern sleep care: Recipes for restful sleep

Thomas Sheppey devoted several densely written pages of his 17th-century manuscript to the topic of sleep — how to trigger it, how to interrupt it, how to influence its depth and length, and even how to stop people talking in their sleep.


Up Close: A poll book from the 1710 election in London

Voting was not a secret process in early modern England. The poll book shown here published the names of all the voters in London and which candidates and party they voted for in 1710.


Up Close: An 18th-century caricature of the Shakespeare-forging William Henry Ireland and his family

This hand-colored caricature from 1797, “The Oaken Chest or the Gold Mines of Ireland, a Farce,” satirizes William Henry Ireland and his family in their forgery of the “Shakespeare Papers.” The print is full of delightful details that will make you chuckle. Get an up-close look and learn more about this Folger collection item by clicking through the arrows to see captions that zoom in on different parts of the image.


Up Close: A 1574 map of London

This 1574 hand-colored map of London and its surroundings shows us something of the London in which William Shakespeare lived and worked. Get an up-close look at the map and learn more about it by clicking through the arrows to see captions that zoom in on different parts of the image.