Images and Permissions

Please note that we expect an interruption in image services in early 2020 due to the Folger's building renovation project. See more details below.

Photography and Digital Imaging
Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003-1004

photo@folger.edu
fax: (202) 608-1715
phone: (202) 675-0335

The Folger's Department of Photography and Digital Imaging provides researchers and the public access to the Library's world-class collection of rare books, manuscripts, and art through high-quality digital images. You can explore and enjoy the Library’s treasures through our online digital image collection, and download images up to 1536 pixels tall for free.

Our images are for publication with a CC-BY-SA license. More information can be found on our Permissions page.

If you need new or higher resolution images of collection materials, see How to Order.

Interruption in Image Services

To ensure the safety and security of our collection during our building renovation project, we are moving it off-site, and our timeline for imaging items will be greatly affected.

If you intend to publish anything that includes images of materials in the Folger’s collections, submit your imaging request by December 31, 2019, to avoid extended wait periods. Requests can be made through our online order form. 

Unsure if you need professional images? It is not uncommon for Folger readers to take their own cell phone or digital camera images while in the Reading Room only to find out at the last minute that higher-quality images are required for publication. For this reason, if images of items from our collection are critical to your work, please consider requesting images by December 31, 2019, even if you are not sure that your work will be published.

After December 31, 2019, the turnaround time for image requests will likely stretch into months, rather than weeks. There may also be a subset of materials that we cannot image at all. The request process, however, will remain the same: follow the image ordering instructions, and please direct any questions about placing an order to photo@folger.edu.

About Our Image Services

We produce high-resolution digital photographs and scans, creating images that equal or surpass current national standards for preservation. Our average master image begins life as a 100–120MB file, and our processed, post-produced, ready-for-publication final product is 80–90MB. For books and bound manuscripts, we use a conservation copy stand, made for us by Manfred Mayer in Graz, Austria, and a Kaiser RSP 2motion copy stand, each with a Digital Transitions RCam reprographic camera and a P65+ camera back controlled by Phase One’s Capture One software. We also use Epson Expressions 10000XL flatbed scanners for imaging flat items such as letters and art on paper.

Let us know how we can help you!

Photography and Digital Imaging
Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003-1004

photo@folger.edu
fax: (202) 608-1715
phone: (202) 675-0335