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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.

Primary Source Databases

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."

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.