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Shakespeare: a guide to selected online resources: eTexts of Shakespeare's works

Online resources for Shakespeare
Subjects: English

Drama Online

Drama Online provides access to the searchable full-text of over 1000 plays, including the Arden Shakespeare editions, to form a collection of the most studied, performed and critically acclaimed plays from Aeschylus to the present day. Over 100 critical and contextual works are also included, as well as biographical and bibliographical information for each playwright.

ProQuest One Literature

ProQuest One Literature provides access to the full text of original works and critical works such as journal articles and citations, so that you can see what recent research is being undertaken in the field of Shakespeare studies. 

You can also search for works by Shakespeare's contemporaries, or search for particular play features, or even keywords across a range of texts.

Internet Shakespeare Editions

Internet Shakespeare Editions has thee parts to it: Text, Context, and Performance.

Text has several versions of Shakespeare's works: old-spelling transcriptions, modern editions, and facsimile images of the originals.

Context contains a multimedia resource of over 1,000 virtual pages; it provides contextual bibliographies for further study in the library. Sections of the site deal with Shakespeare's life, the stage he wrote for, and the background of ideas, politics, literature, and art.

Performance current and historical performances, providing a dynamic view of the way his plays have been interpreted over time and in different cultures. Theaters across the world contribute to the database, updating it with new performances each year, creating both for themselves and those around the world interested in theater a lasting digital archive of performance.

Cambridge Shakespeare

Cambridge Shakespeare is a collection of Shakespeare-related content from Cambridge University Press, with integrated playtexts and notes, reference material and related multimedia resources. 

Cambridge Shakespeare includes:

  • The complete bestselling New Cambridge Shakespeare series (annotated editions of the texts) 
  • The New Cambridge Shakespeare: The Early Quartos series 
  • Shakespeare in Production  (annotated editions of the texts, focussing on production history)
  • The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare; over 300 transhistorical, international and interdisciplinary essays on Shakespeare and contexts
  • A new version of Emma Smith’s The Cambridge Shakespeare Guide, exclusive to Cambridge Shakespeare
  • Multimedia resources for each work, curated by the Folger Shakespeare Library

Shakespeare in Performance

Shakespeare in Performance features the world-famous prompt book collection at the Folger Shakespeare Library, with prompt books for over 90% of Shakespeare’s plays, covering the period from the 1670s to 1970s (the majority are nineteenth century). These include editions owned by notable actors and directors such as Charles and John Philip Kemble, Henry Irving, Ellen Terry and Laurence Olivier. Performances of particular cultural importance have been selected as case studies, including David Garrick’s revised 1772 production of Hamlet, Henry Irving’s famous 1879 production of The Merchant of Venice, and Laurence Olivier’s Academy Award-winning cinema release of Hamlet in 1948.

British Library Quartos

The British Library Quartos site contains 107 copies of the 21 plays by Shakespeare printed in quarto before the 1642 theatre closures. You will find background information and details of performance, but the site excels in allowing you to compare different quartos side-by-side using high quality page images.

Bodleian First Folio

A digital facsimile of the Bodleian First Folio

First Folios Compared

First Folios Compared was launched in 2023 by the publisher Adam Matthew Digital, marking the 400th anniversary of the publication of the First Folio. The portal features digitisations of 47 copies of the publication, from 23 locations. Most contributing copies have not been publicly available before, and several have been digitised specifically for this project. Comparison of the copies allows the identification of differences such as stop-press corrections and marks of use (see How to Compare the First Folios - First Folios for more).