Useful e-resources

Below is a (growing!) list of e-resources mentioned in this module which you might find useful for your own research:


Shakespeare Documented:

This is the largest and most authoritative collection of primary-source materials documenting Shakespeare life, career, and collaborations with the print trade and theatre companies. You can search hundreds of photographs of manuscripts and print references, most of which are transcribed in modern English.

Internet Shakespeare Editions: 

This website offers open-access, peer-reviewed Shakespeare resources, including several versions of Shakespeare’s works: old-spelling transcriptions, modern editions, and facsimile images of the original printed books.


Early English Books Online (EEBO):

You’ll need to use the university library to log in to this website. EEBO contains microfilm images of almost every work printed in the British Isles and North America, as well as works in English printed elsewhere from 1470-1700. These images are  transcribed, and so you can search for key words. Since this year, this website also provides access to ‘Early Modern Books’ which extends to books printed in Europe.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB):

You’ll need to use the university library to log in to this website.  You can search the ODNB  for concise and up-to-date biographies about practically any well known British person from the Roman period to today. You can use this to find out more about the actors and writers who worked with Shakespeare.

Map of Early Modern London (MoEML):

This is a great resource if you want to find out more about Shakespeare’s London, for example, you can search for theatre locations like Blackfriars, the court, the Globe, the Swan, etc using their Encyclopedia  or directly using a digital edition of the 1561 Agas woodcut map of London .

Theatre industry:

Shakespearean London Theatres (ShaLT):

This website also contains a walking map, if you find yourself in London and want to trace the locations of early modern theatres, but outside of London you can watch these informative interviews with leading academics on the different stages of the theatre industry.

Henslowe’s diary as blog:

This blog takes you through Henslowe’s record of plays on a day by day basis. It’s a great introduction to different plays, and worth a browse to see what type of plays are being performed during Shakespeare’s lifetime. This year we’re up to 1595, which is roughly when Shakespeare is writing A Midsummer Night’s DreamRomeo and JulietRichard II, & Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Timeline of the first theatres:

An animated timeline of the first stages of the theatre industry in London. Developed by the  ‘Before Shakespeare‘ project.

Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project:

This website provides a digitised version of Henslowe’s diary, together with short essays which help to explain the significance of each section, e.g. the costume inventory, the ‘part’ of Orlando Furioso, the Fortune contract.

Print trade:

English short title catalogue (ESTC):

The ESTC is a record of all of the printed material published in the British Isles and colonial territories before 1801. You can use this when you are searching for information about how many editions a specific text went through, a list of titles a certain author published, or what type of books a certain publisher printed. This record is linked to EEBO, so once you find a record, you can usually click through to see a digitised copy.

Folger Library: DIY first folio/introduction to printing:

From this site, you can learn more about the printing process, and by clicking on the ‘DIY first folio’ link, get taken through to an interactive exercises which allow you to practice some of the printing techniques of the period.

Shakespeare in sheets:

Once you’ve had a go on the interactive part of the DIY first folio, you can try making some of your own Shakespeare quarto from the PDFs provided on this website.

Secondary criticism


If you can’t find a book in the library, then (after first letting the library know, to see if they will order it in)  you can search for it on Google Books. NB:not all of the pages are included. You can also use this to search for specific keywords.

MLA Bibliography:

You’ll need to use the university library to log in to this website. Similar to JSTOR which you may already use, the MLA bibliography is *the* database for finding up-to-date  research in the humanities. This website explains what it includes and has video tutorials to try out: . There’s also a free online course in how to use this (NB: especially useful for those of you also writing your dissertations!)  here: