The collection's two great strengths are materials related to the early modern age in the West, from about 1450 to the mid-1700s, and materials related to William Shakespeare and the theater, up to the present day. The Folger's collection of Shakespeare materials, much of it originally acquired by Henry and Emily Folger, is the largest and finest in the world.
A selection of primary and secondary sources, including both texts and images, that illuminate the theater, literature, and history of Shakespeare, Shakespearean texts, theatrical production, and criticism have been made available for class and research use and to draw attention to the richer resources available in the Library as a whole.
The Shakespeare Quartos Archive is a digital collection of pre-1642 editions of William Shakespeare's plays. A cross-Atlantic collaboration has also produced an interactive interface for the detailed study of these geographically distant quartos, with full functionality for all thirty-two quarto copies of Hamlet held by participating institutions.