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William Shakespeare

This is a guide to important print and electronic sources in for researching William Shakespeare's life, works, and times. The emphasis is on material available from the University of Maryland Libraries but some Internet open sources are also included.

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Texts Collection.

The Folger Shakespeare Library  has copies of every play, from the earliest printings to modern editions, and we offer carefully edited print and digital texts. Follow the links below for more information, including plot synopses, brief textual histories, and selected images from our collection.

Shakespeare Documented

Shakespeare Documented is an "authoritative collection of primary-source materials documenting the life of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), bringing together all known manuscript and print references to Shakespeare, his works, and additional references to his family, in his lifetime and shortly thereafter. Nearly 500 references, found in roughly 400 print and manuscript documents, provide a rich portrait of Shakespeare as a professional playwright, actor, poet, business man, and family man who lived in both London and Stratford-upon-Avon."

New Cambridge Shakespeare

The UMD Libraries have multiple print copies of Shakespeare's plays and poetry.  The following search string in Worldcat will retrieve many of the Cambridge editions of his works along with their call numbers in McKeldin Library: 

se: new cambridge shakespeare

 

Arden Editions

You can also locate Arden editions of specific plays by searching in Worldcat.  For example, the search terns : richard III arden will retrieve the Arden edition of Richard III.  You can also search for all individual editions by using the following search terms: se:arden shakespeare

The Bedford and Norton Editions

Bedford and Norton editions of specific plays are also excellent and contain a lot of historical and contextual information.  They can be found in Worldcat.  For example, the search terns : romeo and juliet bedford will retrieve editions of the play, Romeo and Juliet, published by Bedford.  You can also search for all individual editions by using the following search terms: se: bedford shakespeare seriesNorton editions can be found by searching the title of the play and the phrase norton critical edition: richard iii norton critical edition.

 

Adaptations of Shakepeare's Works

There are many adaptations of William Shakespeare's works which can be found by searching in Worldcat.  For example, the following search will yield both print and film adaptations of the play Romeo and Julietti:romeo juliet AND su:adaptations.  Use this same convention for adaptations of other plays  ti: title of play AND su:adaptations.

The Shakespeare Quartos Archive

The Shakespeare Quartos Archive is a digital collection of pre-1642 editions of William Shakespeare's plays.  The site reproduces at least one copy of each edition of William Shakespeare’s plays printed in quarto before the theatres closed in 1642. Here you can view quartos separately or compare any two copies.  

The videos below include an introduction to the Archives and basic and advanced tutorials on how to use them.