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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.

Locating Books of Criticism about Shakespeare and His Works

Search Worldcat for books about Shakespeare and his works held in the UMD Libraries. 

For books by and about Shakespeare combine his name with the title of a specific work.

william shakespeare venus and adonis
william shakespeare midsummer night’s dream
william shakespeare romeo and juliet

For books about specific works, use the su:  prefix before your search terms to increase relevancy:


su: william shakespeare venus and adonis
su: william shakespeare midsummer night’s dream

su: william shakespeare richard III
su: william shakespeare romeo and juliet

su: william shakespeare tempest


To locate books of criticism about groupings of plays, or poetry try the following searches:

su: william shakespeare sonnets
su: william shakespeare tragedies
su: william shakespeare comedies
su: william shakespeare histories

Other common areas of study include:

su: william shakespeare authorship
su: william shakespeare characters women
su: william shakespeare contemporaries
su: william shakespeare economics

su: william shakespeare film adaptations
su: william shakespeare influence
su: william shakespeare language
su: william shakespeare musical settings
su: william shakespeare political and social views
su: william shakespeare religion

su: william shakespeare stage history

To locate full-length biographies of Shakespeare try the following search:

su: william shakespeare biography



Journal article databases

Finding the Full Text of Your Article

When you find an article you like in any of the Libraries' databases, just click on the "Find@UMD" button to locate the electronic version.  You can also use "Find@UMD" to request items not owned by the UMD Libraries through interlibrary loan. 

Be aware that the "Find@UMD" links mainly to electronic resources.  Print books and some print journals cannot be identified through "Find@UMD".   Use the link to identify print books, book chapters, and journal articles that are held in the UMD Libraries. The "Find in WorldcatUMD" link will help you locate a record for these items in Worldcat, along with the library location and call number. 

Any items you cannot locate in electronic form or in the UMD Libraries, can be requested through the Libraries' Interlibrary Loan Services.

Reload Button

Doing research off-campus? Try out the UMD Libraries reload button! Add the button to your browser's bookmark toolbar (see instructions below), and whenever you come across a journal you think you should be able to access, click the button to reload the page through the UMD Libraries proxy.

Reload @ UMCP

Drag the button to the bookmarks toolbar or right click and select the "Bookmark This Link" option.

Chrome or Safari:
Drag the button to the bookmarks toolbar. If the bookmarks toolbar isn't visible, press Ctrl + Shift + B (in Chrome).

Internet Explorer:
Right click the button and choose the "Add to favorites..." option. You may get a warning about adding unsafe links. While it's good practice to be wary, we believe this link is safe.

*Note: Reloading the page through the proxy still won't give you access if it's a resource we don't subscribe to. To verify access, look up the journal in journal finder.