Find out more

Read the First FolioTreasures of the Bodleian

The Bodleian’s First Folio was one of the highlights of the recent Treasures of the Bodleian exhibition, and was voted into the top ten treasures by actual and virtual visitors. Read more about the book!

See what Channel 4 News said about the exhibition, and watch Matthew Cain talking about the First Folio.

Shakespeare Quartos Archive

Half of the plays in the First Folio had not been printed before 1623. The 18 that had were printed individually, sometimes in more than one edition. They appeared in quarto, a smaller, cheaper book format. You can learn more from The Shakespeare Quartos Archive (SQA), and see 32 copies of the 5 editions of Hamlet printed before 1642. The Bodleian Libraries was the lead UK partner of the JISC/NEH funded SQA.

British Library: Shakespeare in Quarto

The SQA also completed the British Library‘s digital collection of Shakespeare quartos. You can see at least one copy of all the quartos printed before 1642, when the theatres closed by order of Parliament, at the Shakespeare in Quarto site.

Dr Emma Smith

Dr Emma Smith talks about many of the plays in a series of free podcasts, Approaching Shakespeare, which you can listen to online or download.

Beyond Macbeth: Shakespeare in Scottish Collections

Getting Started with Shakespeare: Exploring Scenes and Sonnets, for schools, and Shakespeare Collected showcase the world-class Shakespeare collections and expertise of the National Library of Scotland (NLS) and the library of the University of Edinburgh. Both libraries were partners in the Shakespeare Quartos Archive, contributing digital copies of their Shakespeare quartos to the project.

Getting Started with Shakespeare and Shakespeare Collected complement the Beyond Macbeth: Shakespeare in Scottish Collections exhibition that ran from December 2011 to April 2012. The exhibition was curated by James Loxley, Professor of Early Modern Literature, University of Edinburgh, and Helen Vincent, Senior Curator of Rare Books, NLS. The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Folger Shakespeare Library

The Folger Shakespeare Library‘s website has a wealth of information about much more than its extraordinary collections, including teaching and learning resources, online exhibitions, and Hamnet, which is far more than “just” a library catalogue. The Folger Shakespeare Library was the lead US partner of the Shakespeare Quartos Archive.

Internet Shakespeare Editions

High-quality editions of Shakespeare’s plays and poems are freely available online at Internet Shakespeare Editions, with information about their historical context.

Shakespeare’s Staging

The University of California, Berkeley presents an excellent resource on Shakespeare’s performance and Globe Theatre, Shakespeare’s Staging. Professor Hugh Richmond, who curates the site, has added his comments to Jonny Patrick’s guest blog-post.

National Theatre

Videos and podcasts are freely available at the National Theatre‘s website.

Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company‘s website includes details of performances, past and present, and much more.

British Museum

Learn about Shakespeare’s world in Shakespeare: Staging the World. The exhibition is co-curated by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the British Musuem, and runs from 19 July to 25 November 2012. It is part of the World Shakespeare Festival, which is part of the London 2012 Festival.

Oxford University Press

In September 2012, Oxford University Press launched Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO) [paywall]. OSEO brings the Press’s excellent scholarly editions online for the first time. To date, 171 editions of works written by authors between 1485 and 1660 are included. Ultimately, the resource will include 12,000 works, comprising 200 plays, 7,000 plays, and more than 5,000 letters.

You may be particularly interested in digital editions of Shakespeare’s works.

Wadham College, University of Oxford

Wadham College owns one copy of each of the first four Folios of Shakespeare’s plays (1623, 1632, 1663, and 1685). They were among the 4,000 books bequeathed to the college by Richard Warner in 1775, and form part of a Virtual Rare Books Exhibition put together by the college’s library. Dr Elizabeth Scott-Baumann has written a brief essay on each of the Folios, which you can access through the Shakespeare room of the exhibition.


The Propeller theatre company have announced the full casting for the The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night. These all-male productions are directed by Edward Hall, artistic director of the Hampstead Theatre in London. The national and international tour runs from November 2012 to August 2013.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *