Exhibitions at the Folger

Current exhibitions

Building closed for renovation.

Current traveling exhibitions

None at the moment

Upcoming exhibitions

Check back soon

Permanent displays

Satellite exhibition spaces

Past traveling exhibitions

Past exhibitions




  • Sword and the Pen (1995)
  • Collectors’ Choice: Favorites from Collections of Friends of the Folger Library (1994–1995)
  • Royal Autographs: the Tudor and Stuart Monarchs of England (1994)
  • Roasting the Swan of Avon: Shakespeare's Redoubtable Enemies & Dubious Friends (1994)
  • Unfaded Pageant: Edwin Austin Abbey (Loan Exhibition) (1994)
  • Paintings from the Folger Shakespeare Library (1993–1994)
  • Fabulous Beasts: Renaissance Animal Lore (1993)
  • The Elizabethan View of Italy (1993)
    • The exhibition catalog was written by Miranda Johnson-Haddad with Mary Tonkinson, Werner Gundersheimer, and Robert Eisenstein.
  • New World of Wonders, 1492-1700 (1992–1993)
    • The exhibition catalog was edited by Rachel Doggett with Monique Hulvey, and Julie Ainsworth.
  • Fine and Historic Bookbindings (1992)
    • The exhibition catalog was created by Frederick A. Bearman, Nati H. Krivatsy, J. Franklin Mowery with an introduction by Anthony Hobson. Photographs by Julie Ainsworth.
  • Reign of the Horse: the Horse in Print, 1500-1715 (1992)
    • The exhibitions catalog was prepared by Elizabeth Niemyer with the assistance of Susan Scola with an introduction to the catalogue by Anthony Dent.
  • The First Folio of Shakespeare (1991)
  • Cathedral: Faith in Stone (1990)
  • Rosenbach Redux: Further Book Adventures in Book Collecting (1990)


  • Shakespeare: The Works (1989)
  • The Grete Herball: Books from the Collection of Mary P. Massey (1988–1989)
  • The Elizabethan Theater: the Theater Art of C. Walter Hodges (1988)
  • Folger’s choice : Favorites on our Fifty-fifth Anniversary (1987)
  • Vision Into Verse: Marianne Moore and the Modernist Poem (1987–1988)
  • Time: The Greatest Innovator: Timekeeping and Time Consciousness in Early Modern Europe (1986–1987)
    • The exhibition catalog was edited by Rachel Doggett with the assistance of Susan Jaskot and Robert Rand.
  • The Compleat Gentleman: Books from English Country Houses (1985–1986)
  • Emily Dickinson Centennial Symposium and Exhibition (1986)
  • The Collector and the Dream (1982–1983) "in at least 3 parts"
  • The Treatment of Books and Art Materials (1983)
  • Magna Carta (1982)
  • Shakespeare, the Globe, and the World (1979–1981)
    • No formal exhibition catalog was produced, but there is an accompanying book by Samuel Schoenbaum and a magazine article by Michael Bandler.
    • This exhibition traveled during the period in which renovations were being carried out on the Folger buildings on Capitol Hill, and so was never displayed at the Folger Shakespeare Library itself.

Earlier Exhibitions

  • "Petrarch in America : a survey of Petrarchan manuscript" (1974)
    • At the Folger Shakespeare Library, April 6-May 5, and the Pierpont Morgan Library, May 16-June 27.
    • The exhibition catalog

Exhibitions by year

Folger exhibitions 2013–2014

Folger exhibitions 2012–2013

Folger exhibitions 2011–2012

Folger exhibitions 2010

Folger exhibitions 2009–2010

Folger exhibitions 2008–2009

Folger exhibitions 2007–2008

Folger exhibitions 2006–2007

Folger exhibitions 2005

Folger exhibitions 2004–2005

Folger exhibitions 2003

Folger exhibitions 2002–2003

Folger exhibitions 2001–2002

Folger exhibitions 2000–2001

Folger exhibitions 1999

Folger exhibitions 1998–1999

Folger exhibitions 1997–1998

Folger exhibitions 1996–1997

Folger exhibitions 1995–1996

Historic exhibitions files

Exhibition content has been documented in various paper files over the years. These are the three main sets of paper files as identified by Rachel Doggett, then Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Books and Exhibitions, in a memo dated 22 January 1991.

  1. Binders (1957 to 1991 [and continued through 2019]) "The Reading room maintains notebooks, going back to 1957, which list, case by case, what books were in each exhibit (author, title, date, call no.). These notebooks also contain a chronological listing of Folger exhibitions, their titles, and the inclusive dates they were on display."
  2. Card file (1950s to ca. 1977) "The Catalog Office … maintained, since the 1950s, a card file listing each book exhibited by author, title, etc. At the bottom of the card for each book is a designation of the subject(s) for which it was exhibited. On the verso of each card is a listing of the exhibit title(s) and dates of display."
  3. File folders (1950s to ca. 1977) "The Catalog office also maintain[ed] file folders, by subject, for Folger books exhibited. Each book has a sheet for each time it was on display. The sheet lists author, title imprint, call no., opening, etc. On the verso of the sheet the text of the case label is transcribed."

The binders (known as the "Reading Room Exhibition Binders" or just "Exhibition Binders") are gradually being gone through in order to document exhibition history in machine-searchable form through:

  1. A Folgerpedia article for each exhibition, linked to from this page.
  2. A MARC 585 Exhibitions Note in the catalog record for each item. The note gives exhibition year and title, catalog entry (if applicable), and opening. Searching by exhibition short title will (eventually) bring up a list of everything included in that exhibition. The short title of each exhibition can be found in the Examples section of the Folgerpedia article.

According to Rachel Doggett in 1991, boxes of case labels from 1977 onward were kept with the intention of continuing the card file and file folders. Earlier labels must also have been kept because the ones scanned to PDF in 2019 are all earlier (on the staff-only shared drive: Everyone > Exhibition Label Scans).