This article establishes rough estimates of the size of the Folger Shakespeare Library's entire collection.
Estimates of how many items reside in the Folger collection vary widely, and generally do not say where the numbers came from. This article attempts to collate all information to date and will be subject to updates. Our own estimate was prompted by a document that said the library has exactly "60,093 manuscripts" — someone took the "60,000" rough estimate and added the exact count of the previous year's acquisitions to it.
- Books: approx. 260,000 total (includes open stacks books; as of September 2015 there are approx. 103,000 holdings in open stacks)
- approx. 18,300 STC titles (June 2014: 18,253 unsuppressed bibliographic records for vault material with "STC (2nd ed.)" or "STC (Addenda" in the Bibliographic Citation field; 43 unsuppressed bibliographic records for vault material with "not in STC" as a phrase)
- approx. 29,000 Wing titles (June 2014: 28,697 unsuppressed bibliographic records for vault material with "Wing" and not "Zwingli" in the Bibliographic Citation field; doesn't count material with "not in Wing" notes or material described only on cards or accession slips, so rounded up to 29,000 for this estimate)
- approx. 20,000 18th-century English titles (June 2014: 19,190 unsuppressed bibliographic records for vault printed books, printed music, and printed cartographic material with "English" as primary language and first date from 1701 and 1800 inclusive; does not include material described only on cards or accession slips; does not include serials that began before 1701)
- approx. 93,500 vault titles in Hamnet (June 2014: 93,307 unsuppressed bibliographic records for vault material with material type "[non-manuscript] language material") plus a large backlog of material described only on cards or accession slips
- Manuscripts: approx. 60,000
- Graphic materials: 90,000 (prints, drawings, photographs, paintings)
- 23,067 holdings records in Hamnet (many of which represent multiple call numbers in one holding)
- "approx. 66,809 items" in backlog estimate
- approx. 200 paintings (Pressly catalog has 202 entries: some are miniatures not paintings; only a handful of paintings have been acquired since the Pressly catalog was made)
- Playbills: approx. 250,000 (based on collections of playbills purchased by the Folgers; random sample from playbill card file supports this high a number)