Founded in 1932, the Folger Library in Washington, D.C. is the world's largest Shakespeare collection. It hosts millions of visitors - in person and online - each year.
For two years, award-winning photographer Robert Dawson and independent curator Ellen Manchester went behind the scenes to document its diverse, lively, and sometimes surprising culture.
Provided with full access, Dawson and Manchester offer a vivid look at life and work at the Folger, from its arts, outreach, teaching, and research programs to the delicate craft of book conservation. Dawson's images also depict topics that might seem too difficult to capture - the birth of ideas, the scope of digital research, and the staff and visitors' connection with Shakespeare and his works from Macbeth
to A Midsummer Night's Dream
. Along with photographs, the book also includes writer Jennifer Howard's exploration of the Folger's human side; a meditation on life, death, and the library by Stanford art historian Alexander Nemerov; and an essay by poet and playwright Afaa Michael Weaver on the many ways in which Shakespeare's works live on.