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Reading Resources

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Recommended Reading Resources

Below are a variety of online reading resources, including journals, databases and catalogues, relating to early modern drama. These are recommendations from our own librarian and Head of Higher Education and Research, and have proved useful for the further study of Shakespeare and Early modern drama.

Shakespeare's Globe is not responsible for the content of external sites.


 I. Text Resources: Shakespeare

II. Text Resources: General / Other Writers

III. Staging and Performance Projects

IV. Online Historical Prompt Books

V. Online Journals

VI. Online Databases and Indexes

VII. Online Catalogues


 

 


I. Text Resources: Shakespeare

 


1. British Library Treasures in Full: Shakespeare in Quarto: 93 copies of 21 Shakespeare plays printed before 1642.

 

2. Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image (Texts from the Furness Library, University of Pennsylvania): Images of rare books, manuscripts, papyri, photographs and sheet music. Searching for Shakespeare will provide links to scanned images of several quartos and promptbooks. This catalogue provides the possibility to compare two texts side by side on the screen. This collection includes the online image of the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image’s First Folio.

 

3. University of Virginia’s Etext Center’s First Folio

 

4. On being careful using full-text Shakespeare online.

 

5. William Shakespere’s Small Latine & Lesse Greek: This is a scanned and searchable 1944 text by scholar T.W. Baldwin of books available during Shakespeare’s education.

 



II. Text Resources: General / Other Writers



1. Early English Books Online (EEBO): A collection of over 125,000 early print titles.

 

2. Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image (Texts from the Furness Library, University of Pennsylvania): Images of rare books, manuscripts, papyri, photographs and sheet music. Searching for Shakespeare will provide links to scanned images of several quartos and promptbooks. This catalogue provides the possibility to compare two texts side by side on the screen. This collection includes the online image of the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image’s First Folio.

 

3. Texts in Original Spelling: The texts record the original published versions of Shakespeare's plays, preserving as many of the physical characteristics of them as possible, including original spelling and format.

 

4. Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project: This project provides images of every page of the manuscripts relating to theatrical affairs in the Henslowe-Alleyn Papers at Dulwich College.

 

5. Richard Brome Online: An unique online edition of the collected plays of dramatist, Richard Brome. Both period and modernised texts can be viewed independently or summoned on screen side-by-side for comparative reading/viewing. Uniquely, the annotations to the plays give access to a wealth of extracts explored in workshop by 22 professional actors, drawn chiefly from the alumni lists of Shakespeare’s Globe and the RSC. More than 30 hours of such performance work is included on the site, divided into 640 episodes illustrating the theatricality and stageability of the plays.

 

6. Cambridge English Renaissance Electronic Service: CERES provides a gateway for research into early modern English manuscript materials, including an online course in English handwriting, useful research links, and an archive of the internet newsletter, Harvest.

 

7. Luminarium: An anthology of English literature broken down into the time periods of Medieval, Renaissance, Seventeenth Century and Restoration.

 



III. Staging and Performance Projects

 


1. Unpinning Desdemona: The Capital Centre at Warwick conducted a practical experiment at Shakespeare's Globe, based on the striking differences between Q and F of Othello (printed only a year apart), “Unpinning Desdemona” uses 4.3 – the willow scene – as a test case for answering whether performance can offer answers to textual problems. 

 

2. Staging the Henrican Court:  This project looks at the role Henrican court drama played in creating courtly space, and includes a professional filmed performance of John Heywood’s Play of the Wether

 

3. Performing the Queen's Men: In the Fall of 2006, the Shakespeare and the Queen's Men Project (SQM) assembled a company of professional actors in Toronto, Canada, to perform three Queen's Men plays: The Famous Victories of Henry V, King Leir and Friar Bacon & Friar Bungay. The Performing the Queen's Men website is designed to disseminate the project's performance research findings and to allow a wider audience access to the experiment through the publication of production resources, including video of the performances. 

 

4. Richard Brome Online: An unique online edition of the collected plays of dramatist, Richard Brome. Both period and modernised texts can be viewed independently or summoned on screen side-by-side for comparative reading/viewing. Uniquely, the annotations to the plays give access to a wealth of extracts explored in workshop by 22 professional actors, drawn chiefly from the alumni lists of Shakespeare’s Globe and the RSC. More than 30 hours of such performance work is included on the site, divided into 640 episodes illustrating the theatricality and stageability of the plays. 

 

5. Hamlet on the Ramparts: Hamlet on the Ramparts is a digital collection of image, text, film and sound recording of past and present productions of Hamlet. 

 



IV. Online Prompt Books

 


1. Shakespearean Prompt-Books of the Seventeenth Century

 

2. Romeo and Juliet Prompt Book Database: This database includes 170 images of prompt books.

 

 3. Booth’s Hamlet: Promptbook of J. B. Pitman (1879)

 



V. Online Journals

 


1. JSTOR: (subscription or ATHENS login required) Shakespeare Survey and Shakespeare Quarterly, as well as other pertinent academic journals are available full-text through your home institution.

 

2. Project Muse: (subscription or ATHENS login required) This is another database of full-text academic journals, including Shakespeare Quarterly and Shakespeare Bulletin.

 

3. Early Modern Literary Studies: A refereed journal examining English literature, literary culture, and language during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

 

4. Connotations: An electronic journal and forum on English literature from the Middle Ages to the present. [Only some articles are available full-text]

 



VI. Online Databases and Indexes

 


1. Database of Early English Playbooks (DEEP): DEEP is a database of early modern plays and playwrights with additional useful information, such as genre, dates of first publication and production.

 

2. Biographical Index of English Drama Before 1660: An annotated list of all playwrights, actors, patrons, musicians, and miscellaneous other people active in English drama before 1660.

 

3. The Early Modern Drama Database: This database is a work-in-progress, collecting available information on performances in London from 1576 to 1642.

 

4. REED Online: Records of Early English Drama: REED is an international project bringing together details of drama from the Middle Ages to 1642, the date the Puritans closed London’s theatres.

 

5. The World Shakespeare Bibliography Online: Searchable electronic database consisting of the most comprehensive record of Shakespeare-related scholarship and theatrical productions published or produced worldwide between 1962 and 2008.

 

6. EMLoT: Early Modern London Theatres: This database provides an abstract record of the relationship between primary (pre -1642 sources) and secondary (post-1642) materials discussing plays, theatre audiences, lives of players and the theatre builings themselves that were built in and around London from 1567 to 1629.

 

 


VII. Online Catalogues

 


1. Touchstone: A project mapping UK Shakespeare collections.

 

2. Folger Library: A Shakespeare research centre, as well as collections relating to early modern history in the West.

 

3. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust : The Birthplace Trust’s library collects books, manuscripts, records of historic interest, pictures, photographs relating to Shakespeare.

 

4. The British Library: The national library of the United Kingdom and holder of a number of folios and quartos.

 

5. Library of Congress: The national library of the United States of America.

 

6. English Short Title Catalogue: ESTC lists over 460,000 published between 1473 and 1800, as well as libraries who hold these items.

 

7. Leeds Verse Database (BCMSV): This is a catalogue of English poetry contained in the over 6,600 17th and 18th-century manuscripts from the Brotherton Collection.