The Folger Shakespeare Library houses the Folger Theatre, an intimate venue designed to resemble an Elizabethan innyard. The theater stages Shakespearean plays and period chamber music concerts. The library houses the largest collection of Shakespeare’s works in the world, including manuscripts, playbills, costumes, musical instruments, engravings and other items related to Shakespeare’s time. The collection draws scholars from around the world.
But you don’t have to be a scholar to enjoy a visit. Open to the public is the Tudor Great Hall, a long, oak-paneled gallery where rotating exhibits from the collection might feature artifacts to do with home medicine practices in Elizabethan times, or maybe instruments and sounds of music from the period.
Outside, on the east side of the building is the small Elizabethan Garden, which is planted with flowers and herbs that would have grown in Shakespeare’s time. Statues of figures from different plays stand on pedestals positioned throughout the garden.
Metro: Capitol South on the Silver, Blue and Orange Lines or Union Station on the Red Line.