Read through the information below and then select the "Create an Account" button at the bottom of the page.

Account Registration

There are two types of accounts you can create with Aeon:

  • A reader account is required to submit an application to become a reader at the Folger Shakespeare Library, or to register as a current reader, including if you have been accepted to an academic program. This account can then be used to request images and vault material.
  • An image request account is required for non-readers to request images of Folger Shakespeare Library collection materials.

For current readers and reader applicants

You do not need to create a separate image request account if you already have a reader account. If you already have an image request account but you want to apply to become a reader, you will need to create a new Aeon account. Your existing image request account will then merge with your reader account.

Currently registered readers at the Folger Shakespeare Library must create an online request account. There is no need to resubmit letters of recommendation. If you are unsure whether or not you are a currently registered reader, please contact registrar@folger.edu.

For academic program and conference participants

Participants in seminars, symposia, and workshops sponsored by the Folger Institute as well as participants in the Teaching Shakespeare Institute need to create a Folger Aeon account as soon as they are accepted into the Folger program. Select the button at the bottom of this page to "Create an Account", and then select "Academic program participant" in the "Registration Type" dropdown. A separate reader application is not needed.

If you are participating in a conference held at the Folger and would like to use the reading room, you will need to apply through Aeon as either a regular or special permission reader depending on your academic qualifications.


Become a Reader

The Folger Shakespeare Library welcomes researchers (or, as we call them, readers) from across the United States and around the world. To apply for reading privileges, please determine whether you qualify as a regular or a special-permission reader and submit your application materials as instructed. All applicants must show a current institutional or government-issued photo I.D. on arrival.

Regular Readers

Regular readers are academics, librarians, curators, and Folger docents.

These people are eligible for regular reader privileges:

  • Full-time faculty from colleges and universities who are working in a field supported by Folger collections.
  • PhDs and PhD candidates who have successfully completed qualifying exams working in a field of study supported by Folger collections.
  • Librarians and curators from research institutions.
  • Folger docents (if they do not fall under any of the categories above) who have completed 1000 hours or ten years of consecutive service.

To apply: Fill out the Reader Registration form on the following page and submit one letter of reference from a professional colleague that verifies your qualifications. All letters must be from an institutional email address or on preprinted letterhead signed by the referee. Please email references to registrar@folger.edu.

Once you have received reader status, you will be prompted to update your contact information annually.


Special-permission Readers

Special-permission readers are students, educators, theater professionals, and other individuals who have a need to access the Folger collections.

The length of special-permission reading privileges is determined on a case-by-case basis. Special-permission readers can apply to have their privileges renewed by submitting a new application (including letters of reference) to the registrar.

These people are eligible for a special-permission reader card:

  • Graduate students at any stage before completing qualifying exams who have a research project that requires access to Folger collections.
  • Undergraduates at the junior or senior level who are working on a project for which the Folger provides unique resources.
  • Other scholars or individuals, such as artists, actors, booksellers, professional theater staff, teachers, and writers for whom Folger collections are critical for study, preparation, or production.

To apply: Fill out the Reader Registration form on the following page and supply two letters of reference that verify your academic qualifications and the relevance of the Folger collection to your research. If you are an undergraduate or a graduate student, one letter must be from your advisor. All letters must be from an institutional email address or on preprinted letterhead signed by the referee. Please email references to registrar@folger.edu.

Once you have received special-permission reader status, you will be prompted to update your contact information and project information after 90 days.


Image Requests

You will need to register for an account if you did not find what you were looking for in our digital image database.
If you need new images of collection materials, we are happy to help. You can find more information about ordering images and about permissions for image use.
When creating an account, select "Image request" in the dropdowns. If you have questions about account registration or image requesting, please contact photo@folger.edu.

Data collection and security

The Folger is committed to protecting the confidentiality of your library request records. The Folger may retain indefinitely information collected from your online Aeon Request Account, including registration, circulation, duplication and publishing requests, as well as related correspondence. We may use this information for administration and maintenance of collections or library operations. Read our full privacy policy for more information.


By pressing this button you acknowledge and agree to all of the terms and conditions above. After reading this information, you can press the "Create an Account" button to continue.