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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.

Shakespeare's First Folio

Read about the early publishing of Shakespeare's quartos and first folio in the Folger Shakespeare Library Publishing Shakespeare web page.

Why is Shakespeare's First Folio so important? Recording from

The Shakespeare Quartos Archive

The Shakespeare Quartos Archive is a digital collection of pre-1642 editions of William Shakespeare's plays. A cross-Atlantic collaboration has also produced an interactive interface for the detailed study of these geographically distant quartos, with full functionality for all thirty-two quarto copies of Hamlet held by participating institutions.  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.  

Today, six institutions in the United Kingdom and United States stand out as the main repositories of the pre-1642 quartos: the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford, the British Library, the University of Edinburgh Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Huntington Library, and the National Library of Scotland. Read about the full list of partners.

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