Digital image collection
The Folger's Digital Image Collection offers online access to over 75,000 images from the Folger Shakespeare Library collection, including books, theater memorabilia, manuscripts, art, and more. Images are available in high resolution and users can show multiple images side-by-side, zoom in and out to see fine detail, view cataloging information when available, export thumbnails, and construct permanent URLs linking back to their favorite items or searches.
About the collection
You may use your web browser to access the collection through a convenient interface called LUNA.
Through the Digital Image Collection you can:
- Compare 19th-century productions of Shakespeare with today's through historic photographs and promptbooks
- Look at letters written by Queen Elizabeth I
- Examine rare paintings in "up close and personal" detail
- Read diary entries from over 200 years ago
- And much more
The Folger digital image collection contains high resolution images requested for research, publication, and the web. Also included are items chosen for digitization by Curators, Conservators, and Reading Room Staff; or created for special projects, e.g., pre-1640 quarto editions of Shakespeare.
Some images are accompanied by Hamnet descriptions of the entire item, but in most cases only abbreviated information exists.
- The ability to create a shortened URL for sharing content (zoomable images, search results, slideshows, etc.) with standard tools like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Delicious, etc. For example, follow this durable URL to a zoomable version of a Hamlet title page. Zoom in and read the full inscription about Shakespeare, copied in a late seventeenth-century hand from a book by Dryden! Or, follow this link to retrieve Hamlet-related search results images in your browser. Learn more about linking and embedding in LUNA here.
- The ability to create a "Web Widget" to embed into other applications your search results, slideshows, presentations or other LUNA views. This feature is available in LUNA. Refer to the link above to learn more about linking and embedding in LUNA.
- Register an online user ID in LUNA. You can save multiple sets of images for later reference, along with private annotations you can make about the images you've selected. Follow this link for more about LUNA Registration and User Settings.
- Access images in our Quartos and other cover-to-cover, page-by-page collections, which include digitized copies of 218 of the Folger Shakespeare Library's pre-1640 Shakespeare texts, including poems, plays, and "apocryphal" editions now known to have been written by someone else.
- The ability to create and save groups of images for later reference. Follow this link for more on creating "Media Groups" in LUNA.
Basic keyword searching may be the best place for you to start searching the Folger digital image collection, for two reasons. First, a basic keyword search will find terms anywhere within whatever information accompanies an image. Second, our image databases are very much works in progress and some fields therefore are empty at the moment. To learn more about browsing and searching by keyword, visit Quick Search Tips.