May 18, 2022

Report: “Is Shakespeare’s DNA Hiding in the Folger Library’s Vault? ‘Project Dustbunny’ Aims to Find Out”

From the Washingtonian:

The Folger Shakespeare Library’s underground storage facility stretches a full block beneath the building, protected by a nine-inch-thick steel bank-vault door. It houses about 260,000 historically significant books, along with manuscripts, documents, and even costumes saved from 19th-century productions. But could the Capitol Hill research library—the largest collection devoted to the Bard in the world—also contain, quite literally, Shakespeare himself?

That possibility is the longest of long shots, but it’s one potential outcome of an ongoing effort at the Folger dubbed Project Dustbunny—so named because it involves analyzing human DNA and proteins harvested from dirt inside the Folger’s old books.

Learn More, Read the Complete Article (approx. 1600 words)

See Also: In Rare Books, Centuries-Old Proteins Can Reveal the Past (via Shakespeare and Beyond/

See Also: Radio Program: Did Shakespeare Have Acne? What Historic Texts Can Tell Us About The Past (via WAMU)

On Related Notes…

The Folger Shakespeare Library’s British Book Illustrations (BBI) Database Adds Iconclass Metadata For Images

Letter to Folger Readers: Renovation Plans

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.