The Folger Institute | Atlantic World Research Network

The Folger Institute

Fall 2011 inaugurated UNCG’s membership in the prestigious Folger Institute of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. The Folger is one of the world’s great research libraries, founded in 1932 on its renowned collection of rare books and manuscripts related to Shakespeare’s life and work, including 82 copies of the original 1623 First Folio and 229 quarto editions of his plays and poems. Located on Capitol Hill, the Folger provides access not only to its own marvelous collection, but proximity to the unparalleled resources of the Library of Congress, literally next door. The Folger also houses its own Elizabethan Theater, which recreates a performance space much like Shakespeare’s original venues at the 1599 Globe and the 1608 Blackfriars, and which presents innovative and highly popular productions of the Shakespearean canon and other classic drama. It also sponsors the Folger Consort, who specialize in the performance of early modern music.

Though founded on Shakespearean documents and research, the Folger has expanded its focus and holdings over the decades to include more than 256,000 books; 60,000 manuscripts; 250,000 playbills; 200 oil paintings; some 50,000 drawings, watercolors, prints, and photographs, as well as many costumes and films. These holdings embrace a fully interdisciplinary range of subjects spanning the Humanities and Fine Arts, from Literature, Theatre, Music and Art to History and Languages, Political Science, Philosophy and Religion, and covering the centuries from late Medieval through the Renaissance and well into the Eighteenth Century, on both sides of the Atlantic. So the Folger presents tremendous attractions for UNCG, with our strong tradition not only in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature, but all across the Humanities and Fine Arts, and now with our Atlantic World Research Network.

The Folger Collection 
Folger Institute Description
Program Mission Statement
Consortium Members

Consortium membership is held, and dues are paid, not by a single department, but by the College of Arts and Sciences and the University’s Office of Research and Economic Development. Consortium membership endows member faculty and graduate students (“affiliates”) with many benefits in addition to the ordinary access for approved Readers to the Library’s collections: specifically, preferred application status and free enrollment in all Folger Institute programs, including single-session weekend seminars and symposia (otherwise $200) or semester-length seminars and skills courses, multi-session weekend seminars, and multi-session colloquia (otherwise $500). Folger Institute programs are conducted as gatherings of scholars oriented toward common goals, and a hallmark of Institute seminars is the bringing together of junior and senior scholars, from advanced graduate students to tenured faculty.

For information on how to apply for Folger programs, please see Application Instructions. 

Newberry Reciprocity Agreement

Consortium membership also brings full reciprocal privileges with the Newberry Library in Chicago, with deep strengths not only in British and Continental literature and culture from the 13th through 18th centuries, but also in American literature and culture (including Native American) from the Colonial era through the 19th Century.

Newberry Reciprocity Agreement and Two-Step Reciprocal Application


Faculty Representative to the Folger Institute Central Executive Committee: Christopher Hodgkins, Department of English and Director, Atlantic World Research Networt

Faculty and Administrators thus far affiliated with the Folger Consortium:

  • English: Scott Romine (Head); Denise Baker, Michelle Dowd, James Evans, Jennifer Feather (Director of Graduate Studies), Christopher Hodgkins, Jennifer Keith, Karen Kilcup, Mark Rifkin, Maria Sanchez, Amy Vines, Karen Weyler
  • Languages, Literatures, and Cultures: Amy Williamson (Head); Carmen Sotomayor, Roberto Campo, Veronica Grossi, Ana Hontanilla, Cybelle McFadden
  • History: Jamie Anderson (Head); Rick Barton, Jodi Bilinkoff, Benjamin Filene, Phyllis Hunter, Mark Elliott (Director of Graduate Studies), Linda Rupert, Peter Villella
  • Religious Studies: Derek Krueger, Eugene Rogers
  • Art: A. Lawrence Jenkens (Head); Michael Ananian, George Dimock, Heather Holian, Elizabeth Perrill
  • Library: Rosann Bazirjian, Dean; Keith Gorman, Special Collections (Head)
  • Library and Information Studies: Lee Shiflett (Interim Chair)
  • School of Music, Theatre, and Dance: Peter Alexander (Dean); Kailan Rubinoff (Musicology), Deborah Bell, John Gulley (Theatre)
    Also: Franklin Gilliam, Jr., Chancellor; Dana Dunn, Provost; Terri Shelton, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development; William Wiener, Dean of the Graduate School; Tim Johnston, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Thomas Kwapil, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences