Folger Shakespeare Library

About the Folger Shakespeare Library:

The Folger Shakespeare Library, founded by Henry Folger and his wife Emily Folger in 1932 and located in Washington D.C., is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare materials. The library also contains various English and continental books from the Renaissance and Early Modern period, including almost half of all printed works published in before 1640. Folger’s conservation lab preserves these rare materials for future generations, and many of the library’s resources are now available to a wider population via the Internet. The Folger’s Digital Image Collection offers online access to over 70,000 images of books, theater memorabilia, manuscripts, art, and more.

How To Navigate Folger:

In order to find the LUNA Digital Image Collection database:

– Start on the main home page (

– Click “Use the Collection” from the menu across the top of the page.

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– Click “Accessing Digital Images” from the left-hand side menu

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– Scroll down to reach the link (

– There are two search locations, the first a basic site search for a keyword from the main page, which will not get you much.

– The second is through the LUNA Digital Image Collection. Choose “Search Catalog Data” or  “Catalog Data & text in Documents” from the search bar on the top right-hand corner.

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– You can also click Advanced Search (in the top right-hand corner underneath the LUNA search bar) to access more detailed search options. (

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– Keyword Search in LUNA works much like in a search engine, so you can use the AND, OR, NOT, and ” ” to help refine your search.

– You can also use wildcard characters like “*” and “?”. For example, enter “Par*” for results like Paris, Parigi, Paraguay, etc. Enter “Rom?” for search results like Rome and Roma.

– Once in the LUNA Database, use the search bar at the top right corner to search for the text you want.

– The website will give you multiple search results which include images from different editions of books, paintings, photos of stage productions, and actual text of some of the books in the collection.

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– Search Tip: If you do not find what you are looking for right away, try varying your spelling in your search (for example, “Much Adoe About Nothing” versus “Much Ado About Nothing”).

– When you click on a thumbnail, the site brings up a larger, high resolution image that you can zoom in on and examine more closely.

– On the left side of the screen, there will be a column that details media information such as the publishing information, physical description, citations, and notes in the text.

– In the top right, you will see a series of thumbnails which will guide you to the next few pages.

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– If you are not looking for something specific, or just for more exploration, you can also browse categories: What, Where, Who, and When.

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