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The Folger Shakespeare Library has the world's largest collection of materials relating to Shakespeare and his works, from the 16th century to the present day, as well as a world-renowned collection of books, manuscripts, and prints from Renaissance Europe. The Library actively acquires new materials that build on the strengths of the collection. In the Folger’s state-of-the-art conservation lab, conservators prepare collection material for exhibition and for hands-on study by researchers.

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Documents contributed by Folger Shakespeare Library

June 12, 1593
This diary entry, written by Richard Stonley on Tuesday, June 12, 1593, records the first known purchase of the first edition of Shakespeare's first printed work, the narrative poem Venus and Adonis (London, 1593).
1594
Epicedium, a brief quarto pamphlet made up of only a single poem in memory of Lady Helen Branch, contains one of the earliest allusions to Shakespeare’s Lucrece by name.
1594
Shakespeare’s Lucrece was first printed in 1594, fulfilling his promise to the earl of Southampton in the 1593 dedication to Venus and Adonis of “some grauer labour.” In the dedicatory epistle to Lucrece, which was likewise
1594
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!
1594
The first known printed reference to Shakespeare appears in a commendatory poem introducing the poetry collection Willobie his Avisa, printed in 1594. The poem, entitled “In praise of Willobie his Avisa, Hexameton to the Author,” appears before the main text.

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