News & Politics

The Folger Shakespeare Library Sets June Reopening Date

The library has been closed for a major renovation since 2020.

Photograph by Marvin Bowser/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

The Folger Shakespeare Library will reopen June 21, the library announced Tuesday. It has been closed since March 2020, when it began to undertake significant additions that include gardens, an entrance hall, and exhibition space that can show the library’s collection of 82 “first folios”—the largest collection of the 17th century works.  In all, the additions total more than 12,000 square feet. The library was originally slated to reopen last year, but preservation concerns pushed the date to 2024.

One walkway leading to the garden will feature a new poem from former US Poet Laureate Rita Dove, which encourages visitors to “step into a house where / the jumbled perfumes of our human potpourri / waft up from a single page.”

The museum will offer timed entry passes beginning in May. The library was recently in the news when it published a bizarre letter it received about the January 6, 2021, coup attempt at the US Capitol. A Washington Post article about the document stressed the significance Shakespeare has for some white nationalists, but the text of the letter implies it may have been influenced less by well-read insurrectionists than by the QAnon/MAGA obsession with Washington tunnels.

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.