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Folger Shakespeare Library

TIME : 2016/2/18 10:47:14

Bard-o-philes will be all of a passion here, as the library holds the largest collection of old Billy’s works in the world. Stroll through the Great Hall to see Elizabethan artifacts, paintings, etchings and manuscripts. The highlight is a rare First Folio that you can leaf through digitally. The evocative theater on site stages Shakespearean plays.

Most of the items are housed in the library’s reading rooms, closed to all but scholars, except on Shakespeare’s birthday (April 23) and during Saturday tours (noon to 1pm; book online in advance). Docents also give hour-long tours (11am and 3pm Monday through Friday, 11am and 1pm Saturday, 1pm Sunday) of the building and exhibitions; no reservations are required for those. An Elizabethan garden, full of flowers and herbs cultivated during Shakespeare’s time, blooms on the building's eastern end.

The Folger building itself is notable for being the most prominent example of the modernist-classical hybrid movement that swept Washington, DC, during the Great Depression. Jokingly referred to as ‘Stark Deco,’ it tends to inspire strong feelings: lovers say it elegantly pays homage to Greek classicism and 20th-century modernism, while haters say it ruins both styles.