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We have an extraordinary number of resources about Shakespeare at the Rosenthal Library. An exhaustive list would be too long and too non-specific to be useful. Below is a guide to help you find the resources particular to your project as well as a short list of particular reference works in the level 3 stacks. The emphasis here is on variety rather than inclusion.
To narrow your search for works about Shakespeare in the CUNY Catalog it helps to do an advanced, rather than a basic, search. (If you do a basic search for “Shakespeare, William” you will retrieve 2894 results.) In an advanced search you can enter Boolean terms to expand, exclude, or narrow your search. You can also define your search by format, if you're interested in e-books or films, or by location in the library, which is relevant if you want to limit your search to authoritative reference works. The reference works at Rosenthal include dictionaries, handbooks, encyclopedias, bibliographies and Shakespeare's original works (i.e. The Complete Works of…). You can narrow your interest by entering “Shakespeare” as a subject term and adding keywords that pertain to your particular interest.
Note, the authorized term for Shakespeare as a subject is: Shakespeare, William, 1564–1616.
Some subject headings:
- Dramatists, English—Early Modern, 1500–1700—Biography
- Shakespeare, William, 1564–1616
- Shakespeare, William, 1564–1616—Dictionaries.
- Shakespeare, William, 1564–1616—Technique.
- Shakespeare, William, 1564–1616—Literary style.
- Shakespeare, William, 1564–1616—Language.
- Theater—England—History—16th Century
Call numbers are helpful because the library attempts to group books on the same subject together on a shelf. Most of the books on Shakespeare are in the call range of PR 2750 - PR 3112. Early in that range, you will find books organized alphabetically by the play they examine, and after that you will find more general criticism. You may also want to see the following call ranges:
- DA350-360—History of Great Britain—Elizabethan Age
- PR421-429—English Literature—Elizabethan Era (1550–1640)
- PR621-744—English Literature—Drama
- PR2199-3195—English Literature—English Renaissance (1500v1640)
- Z8001-8999—Personal Bibliography
Companions are ready reference resources designed to help readers understand complex concepts within the work; entries tend to be alphabetic by entry. An index will allow you to search the entries by topic of interest. Depending on the specificity of the resource, one can look up a play, a character, a place, a common theme, a historical landmark, and more, and discover its significance to a particular Shakespeare play. Companions and guides can be found in the PR2800- section of the reference section on level 3. Here are some examples:
- The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (Reference Level 3 - PR2892 .O94 2001)
- An extensive and authoritative text whose cross-referenced entries include characters, plays, scenes, themes. Includes a thematic list of entries, making searching easier.
- William Shakespeare, a Textual Companion (Reference Level 3 - PR3071 .W44 1997)
- Extensive line by line notes to Shakespeare's major plays, matching The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works
- Greenwood Guides to Shakespeare
- This series provides basic background information about each individual play, including themes, performances, and critical approaches to the text. The Greenwood Series includes the following guides:
- King Lear: Reference Level 3 - PR2819 .H35 2001
- Othello: Reference Level 3 - PR2829 .H35 1999
- Romeo and Juliet: Circulating: PR2831 .H28 1998
- Hamlet: Reference Level 3 - PR2807 .M28 1998
- Julius Caesar: Reference Level 3 - PR2808 .M38 1998
- Macbeth: Reference Level 3 - PR2823 .C67 1997
- Henry V: Reference Level 3 - PR2812 .H35 1997
- All Things Shakespeare : An Encyclopedia of Shakespeare's World (Reference Level 3 - PR2892 .O56 2002)
- If you're curious about the cultural context of Shakespeare's plays and the world he lived in, this resource compiles everyday and obscure facts (such as astronomy, currency, death, medicine) about the time-period and locates them within his texts.
Concordances break down a text by listing the number of times key words appear within it; listings include the line the word appears in, and where one might find it in the text. Here's an example:
- Oxford Shakespeare Concordances
- A series of concordances to Shakespeare's works broken down by title; the series begins with All's Well That Ends Well (PR2801.A79 A4) and ends with The Winter's Tale (PR2839.A79 W5).
Variorums provide line by line critical analysis of complex works of literature by pooling a wide variety of scholarly critical essays and books on the topic and providing minute explications of the text as a series of footnotes. In a very detailed variorum, the footnotes can far exceed the text of the original work. Note that when searching the CUNY Catalog “variorum” is not listed as an authorized subject, nor is it a format, but you can find them by entering 'variorum' as a keyword. Here is an example of a series in our collection:
- A new variorum edition of Shakespeare: PR2753 .F5 (volumes 1–29)
Bibliographies compile citations of critical works discussing texts, which can be organized by topic, theme, work, or lines of text within works. Note that printed bibliographies only contain citations up until the book's publication; more recently published critical essays will be found in our electronic databases, which are frequently updated. Here are a few examples of Shakespeare bibliographies at Rosenthal:
- Shakespearian Bibliography and Textual Criticism : A Bibliography
- Reference Level 3 - Z8811 .H69 2000
- Shakespeare and Minorities : An Annotated Bibliography, 1970–2000
- Reference Level 3 - Z8813 .K84 2001
- Garland Shakespeare Bibliographies. (Annotated Bibliographies of works)
- Reference Level 3 - Z8812.A8 H35 1985
- This series of annotated bibliographies covers critical reviews and discourse of Shakespeare's major works in separate volumes. The series begins with As You Like It and ends with Timon of Athens. The books sit side by side; call numbers range from Z8812.A8 H35 1985 to Z8812.T55 R87 1986.
Much like a dictionary you would use to discover the meaning of a word, dictionaries in the context of a particular subject, like Shakespeare, provide contextual meaning to key themes, characters, and concepts relevant to Shakespeare. Rosenthal carries a number of dictionaries about Shakespeare.
Dictionaries of Works:
- The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (Reference Level 3 - PN1625 .P38 2005)
- This work is not specific to Shakespeare, but does list his works alongside the most significant plays in international theater. Filled with plot descriptions and brief analyses.
Here is a short list of dictionaries specific to a field of interest:
- The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations from Shakespeare
- Reference Level 3 - PR2892 .F48 1998
- A Dictionary of Shakespeare's Semantic Wordplay
- Reference Level 3 - PR2997.P8 W47 1998
- A Dictionary of Shakespeare's Sexual Puns and their Significance
- Reference Level 3 - PR2997.P8 R82 1984
- Music in Shakespeare : a Dictionary
- Reference Level 3 - PR3034 .W55 2005
- A Shakespeare Glossary
- Reference Level 3 - PR 2892 .O6 1986
- Shakespeare's Characters: A Historical Dictionary
- Reference Level 3 - PR2982 .T45
- World Shakespeare Bibliography Online:
- Indexes scholarship and theatrical productions between 1960 and 2011, and contains over 128,200 annotated entries. Searchable by productions, individual works, reference works, and critical works. It's not full text, but it does provide citations.
- MLA International Bibliography:
- The most scholarly and comprehensive database for articles and books on the modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics and literary aspects of film. More than 66,000 citations are added annually.
- Covers over 500 journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Full text is available for all articles as recently as about 5 years ago.
- Project Muse:
- Full-text access to over 200 journals from university presses and scholarly societies, focusing on the humanities and social sciences. A smaller database than JSTOR, but they index an excellent list of journals and their full-text content is more recent.
- Shakespeare Criticism - A subset of the database Literature Criticism Online:
- This database indexes scholarly articles about Shakespeare's works, and includes critical interpretations dating from the 17th century to the present. Alternative access to this database can be found through Gale Databases. Once in Literature Criticism Online, select Shakespeare Criticism as the Series in the “limit results by series option” on the main page, otherwise you will be conducting a federated-style search through all the series.
Journals and E-Journals
- Shakespeare Survey: PR2888 C3.v1 through volume 63
- An annual survey of critical essays published about Shakespeare in the previous twelve months. Rosenthal carries the complete set from volumes one through 63, the most recent.
- Shakespeare Bulletin (0748-2558)
- from 03/01/2004 to 12/31/2009 in Academic OneFile
- Shakespeare in Southern Africa (1011-582X)
- from 01/01/2001 to present in Academic OneFile
- Shakespeare Newsletter (0037-3214)
- from 03/01/2001 to present in Academic OneFile
- Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter (1525-6863)
- from 01/01/1999 to 42 days ago in Academic OneFile
- Shakespeare Quarterly (0037-3222)
- from 01/01/1950 to 12/31/2005 in JSTOR Arts & Sciences I Archive Collection
- from Spring 2001 to present in Project MUSE - Standard Collection
- Shakespeare Studies (Columbia) (0582-9399)
- from 01/01/1975 to present in Academic Search Complete
- Shakespearean Criticism (Detroit, Mich.) (0883-9123)
- in Literature Criticism Online (note that you'll need to choose it from the list)
- Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies (0080-987X)
- from 01/01/1970 to 01/31/1971 in JSTOR Arts & Sciences II Archive Collection
- Sixteenth Century Journal (0361-0160)
- from 04/01/1972 to 12/31/2005 in JSTOR Arts & Sciences II Archive Collection
- from 04/01/1995 to 12/31/2008 in Humanities Full Text
These websites are recommended because they are sponsored by authoritative institutions, are frequently updated, and are for the most part intended for a scholarly audience. Please consider these factors when you are thinking about using resources on the Web.
- Open Source Shakespeare
- OSS has the full text of all the plays and poems, and some very useful tools, especially the concordance, list of lines spoken by each character and the sonnet comparison tool.
- Perseus Collection: The Works of William Shakespeare
- Perseus is an open access collection of classic works, which are available full-text and are fully searchable. The Works of Shakespeare collection provides free online access to Shakespeare's major works, which you can read onscreen. Entries are cross-referenced against dictionaries and other articles in the Perseus database.
- Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet
- This is a directory of Shakespeare resources on the Internet, maintained at Palomar Community College. This directory is currently updated and covers a wide range of internet resources.
- Directory to Shakespeare and Renaissance sites on the Web
- Maintained at the University of Victoria, Canada. Note the policy for inclusion in the list.
- OAIster is a union catalog that searches the Deep Web (resources search engines cannot reach) for digital resources such as digitized books and articles, audio files, images, datasets and more.
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.
- Stacks (Call # A-L Level 4; Call # P-Z Level 5) - LB2369 .G53 2010
- Desk Reference Level 3 - LB2369 .G53 2010
- Online MLA Formatting and Style Guide from the OWL at Purdue