Apply to be an Amherst College Folger Fellow! 

folger magic 144- 461q: a 17th-century printed pamphlet entitled "The discovery of witches."

We invite Amherst College students to apply for the Amherst College Undergraduate Folger Fellowships. These unique fellowships are held for two weeks in January at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. The Folger is the premier research library in the world for the study of Shakespeare and the English Renaissance. It also holds major collections for research in European arts, culture, and history from the early fifteenth century to the end of the eighteenth century, including important New World materials.

The undergraduate fellowships — all expenses paid — will be awarded to six students whose academic work can most profit from intensive research at the Folger Library. Expenses covered include travel costs (from wherever in the U.S. you spend Christmas break to Washington, D.C. and then from Washington to Amherst, MA), housing, all meals, and a small media allowance.

Alongside their independent work, Folger Fellows will also be members of a mini-seminar on “Media, Materiality, and Meaning” led by Folger experts.  Morning workshops will address topics in media history, archival research methods and material culture from early modern books, manuscripts, and art to the curation of modern editions and digital texts. Using Folger resources, students will learn how to describe rare materials and their digital remediations and incorporate them into their research.

Students will learn how manuscripts were created and how to read early modern handwriting. Through the Folger’s art collection, they will learn about book illustration. Fellows will have afternoons and evenings free to pursue their research, attend plays and exhibitions, and explore Washington, DC. Follow the Folger's blog, The Collation, to learn about the collections and keep up with current news.

If you are interested in applying for a Folger Fellowship, speak to a faculty member who can help you formulate a suitable project. Applications should describe your project in no more than two pages and be accompanied by a letter of support from a faculty member. The Folger Fellowships Committee, chaired by Professor Martha Umphrey, will review applications and interview promising applicants in person. Successful applicants will be notified shortly after the interviews.  Please submit your application to Heather Grimes ( by October 2, 2017



Henry Clay Folger

Henry Clay Folger graduated from Amherst College in 1879. As a Senior at Amherst, he attended a lecture on Shakespeare by Ralph Waldo Emerson that sparked a life-long interest in the playwright. Throughout a long career in the oil industry, he built up, with his wife’s assistance, the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare materials. Together, Henry and Emily Folger then planned the library that would house their collection.



More information about the history of Shakespeare at Amherst College is available in this online exhibition:

The Play's the Thing: Dramatic Amherst


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