Explanation of Contents
The world of Shakespeare studies on the web is new and exciting because of the wonderful new tools that have come about as part of the web 2.0 movement, especially Wikipedia, Google Book Search (and related Google tools), the Internet Archive, the blogosphere, podcasting, and easily accessible streaming media, to mention only a few.
If you find links that you think would be a good addition to these pages, be sure to contact me.
In the short run, I am working on three major upgrades to the site, four if you count the blog (which is a great deal of work). First, I am greatly enhancing the pages related to the Renaissance and Shakespeare's contemporaries. Secondly, and closer to home, I am creating an individual page dedicated to each play or poetic work. Each of these new pages will contain an Introduction to the work in question, a general description, a synopsis, links to all the Internet and Print editions I can find, links to all the Internet and print criticism I can find, links to all the Internet and print study guides I can find, "other" resources (when you are trying to categorize something, there are always things that just won't fit and need to go in the "other" cubby hole), and notes for the page. I am starting with Julius Caesar. It will be rather a longish time before this project is finished. Therefore, links to works, criticism, study guides and so on will remain where they have always been in the mean time. When the individual work page is done, a link to it will be placed on the Works page and the detail removed from the upper level pages. Finally, I am beginning to publish at this site reviews of books, web site, DVDs, and whatever else merits review.
The most popular pages at this site remain a Shakespeare Timeline, which is an online biography mounted at this site. Part of the timeline is a separate Shakespeare genealogical chart and a timeline summary chart that places the events of Shakespeare's life into historical context. A bibliography is included for those wishing to pursue their own research. Also particularly popular lately are the reviews.
The critical resources page has continued to grow, as do its sub-pages. The Searching page has been greatly modified and now contains links to specifically Shakespearean search tools--and there are a couple of very good ones that have been added since this sites last major redesign--and also the "Metasites" (those sites which are an index to other sites, like this one).
The graphics banners with this version are all new and of my own invention, but using certain public domain materials found on the Internet. If I have somehow inadvertently used someone's copyrighted materials, please let me know and I will remove them immediately.
From the beginning these pages have been an annotated guide to the scholarly Shakespeare resources on the Internet. By 'annotated' I mean I give my opinions about the sites and try to indicate what their strengths may be. When this site began, it was the only one of its kind. Now there are many, many of which have borrowed heavily from this one. As far as this promotes Shakespeare studies, this is a very good thing and I am content to have helped (in the old days, when there was no Google (yes, children, you heard me, no Google) it was rather harder to locate resources than it is now--now the challenge is to sift the riches and find the really useful resources). Where I fail to link to well known Shakespeare sites on the web it is either because 1) they are redundant, in that their contents are fully covered on other sites to which I link (this is true of the many sites that provide the Moby text of the plays); 2) they are infected with gross and annoying advertising and their contents, for the most part, are just an excuse to have something to hang the blinking banner ads on; 3) they accept advertising from essay writing services; or 4) I have not discovered them yet. I always appreciate hearing from those who have discovered new resources that ought to be linked here.
I have attempted to categorize the resources as logically as possible, and the major subdivisions are reflected in the menu at the upper left of each major page. The "Works" page, for example, not only contains links to the various collected and individual Internet editions of Shakespeare's plays, but also contains links for the canon in general, links to this site's edition of Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales From Shakespeare, links to available study guides, to non-English editions of the plays, to the non-dramatic poetry, to quotes, bibliographies, and booksellers and publishers. Each of the other major menu items have a similar set of sub-divisions which I hope are logically arranged. Where a page is linked from a sub-page, but not from the main menu or the home page, I list it at the top of the linking page as a "related linked page." Use the site map to get an overview of the entire layout.
By 'scholarly' I mean those sites that will interest serious students of Shakespeare, Elizabethan drama or the Renaissance in general. Describing many of the items linked here as "scholarly" will certainly stretch the term, and academic reactionaries will object. Nevertheless, if the site is freely available and I judge it to be of interest and use to the broad population of Shakespeare students (I mean "students" in the widest sense, not just those in schools) I link it here. The real emphasis is on web sites, but Shakespeare resources delivered by any protocol are linked, as long as they are freely available. Recently more audio and video content has come available, both streaming and downloadable. I have avoided linking to for-pay sites, like library databases, but every so often they are mentioned. Because publishers of scholarly journals generally do not make their content freely available on the Internet (they want to keep selling their back issues, over and over, as it were, to the diminishing of their wider audience) much of what is "scholarly" remains unavailable. More's the pity. The sorts of resources that are not indexed here are book advertisements, book reviews (generally), director's notes to productions (unless outstanding for scholarly merit with the potential to remain available), and most blatantly commercial sites, unless they are related to educational products in which instructors may be interested. The exceptions to all these rules occur on the "Other Sites" page. Furthermore, since I have received so many requests, I have added performance and festival information on a separate page (which has grown enormously), and give the scholarly theatre information on a different (but linked) Theatre page. Pernicious above all sites are those that sell Shakespeare research papers to students. You will not find links to them here, or to sites that accept these sorts of services as sponsors, though figuring out which sites do and don't, now that advertising on web pages is so ubiquitous, is difficult.
Another change in these pages over previous editions is the "What's News" page. As its name implies it is used to announce exciting new sites, conferences, colloquia, special events, and even publish intermittent reviews. The page now features these, and several other things as well, including the latest Mr. Shakespeare blog posts and a featured book.
If you come away from these pages with the feeling that they are very useful but slightly pedantic, I will have realized my goal. (Being pedantic is rather hard work).
I hope I have not been overly influenced by the traditional prejudices against minority views, and have therefore included links to sites such as The Oxford Society page (which is well designed and presents substantial, interesting material) and the pages of the Richard III Society (among the best on the web for serious content and scholarship!). Let me make clear that no serious minded scholars of integrity entertain the idea that anyone but the man William Shakespeare wrote the works attributed to him. This is the theory of hobbyists and those seeking a sensational cause to publish. The idea is both naive and silly.
For those sites which one would not describe as "scholarly," I have included a page called "Other Sites". Other is the operative word. They can be described as "sites your mother should have warned you about." They range from mildly amusing to the truly lunatic.
The URL where these pages are mounted has changed, and is:
I still find links to previous URLs (I once housed this site on our College's library web site, and later on a faculty web server). But it has been so long at the above URL that I have removed the redirectors from the old sites. If you are seeing this page at any other URL, or on a CD (yes, this has happened) it is not authorized.
Citing This Site
I have received numerous inquiries on how to cite this site in MLA format. Like this:
If you are citing the web site itself in a bibliography:
If you are citing an article from the web site, for example:
A Reminder to young Students
I receive two species of emails from students. The first goes something like,
The other goes,
Regarding the second, if I know of a site, I have included it in the index already, so learn how the index works and look there.
Regarding the first, as I said above, I simply do not have time, nor would it be right, I think you will agree upon reflection, for me to do your work for you.
Much as I wish to further Shakespeare research, requests for materials (especially from high school students telling me how , by the way, they were just pondering Hamlet and procrastination, or Romeo and Juliet and predestination), must go unanswered. If you wish to read more on my policy regarding student inquiries, and information on Internet in general, you may read my note to students.
Notices & Copyrights