by J J Cohen
An advantage of having the Folger Shakespeare Library occupy the same city as your university, and of having your former departmental colleague as director of that library, is that you can then put together something like GW's Undergraduate Research Seminar at the Folger. This course grants a select group of students reader's privileges for a year, enabling them direct access to early modern archival materials.
If you'd like to learn more about this program (of which I am very proud), follow this link. You can even watch a streaming video in which I say some very ITM-y words about past and future to a vaguely Renaissance soundtrack.