Shakespeare and the History of Books

Spring 2014

Listed in: Special Seminar, as COLQ-231; Anston L. Bosman (Section 01)Michael Kelly (Section 01)

Questions about research in this course? Contact Michael Kelly.

  • Databases
  • Reference
  • Primary Sources
  • Web Resources

Databases: Find articles, book chapters, e-books

Historical Abstracts with Full Text (1955 to present)
Scholarly literature about world history since 1450 (excluding the United States and Canada).

MLA International Bibliography (1926 to present)
Covers critical scholarship on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore.

Major journals in the field of book history and bibliography:

The Library. Oxford UP. (1889-present)
"The journal of the Bibliographical Society. For more than a hundred years it has been the pre-eminent scholarly journal for the study of bibliography and of the role of the book in history." Full text online up to and including current issue.

Studies in Bibliography. University of Virginia. (1948-2000)
The journal of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia. Full text online through 2000.

The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. University of Chicago. (1909-present)
Not available online. Request individual volumes from Five College Depository.


Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Biographical sketches of more than 59,000 "men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century" including publishers, printers, patrons, and other people involved in the book trades.

Oxford and Cambridge Companions
Oxford and Cambridge University Presses have published subject-specific reference works ("Companions") on just about any topic you can think of. These links will take you directly to specific volumes, but these are small corners of the huge universe of information you can find through the "Cambridge Companions Online" and "Oxford Reference" sites.


The Oxford Companion to British History
These entries will generally be shorter than the DNB, but you can search this source for geographical terms like "Wales" or "Shrewsbury" or terms like "Domesday Book" or "court."


The Cambridge Companion to English Literature, 1500-1600
Chapter 15, "Writing Empire and Nation," has a brief section about "Chronicling England" which is directly relevant to the 1 Henry IV blog assignment.


The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain
Authoritative articles with selective bibliographical references for all aspects of book history in Britain from 400 to 1914. 

The Oxford Companion to the Book. Michael Suarez, ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010
Not available online, but a fantastic source for this course. There's a copy in the first floor reference collection (Frost Reference Z4 .O946 2010) and one behind the desk in the Archives.



Primary Sources

EEBO: Early English Books Online
"Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700 - from the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War." NOTE: most images in EEBO are scans of old microfilm, so you are the image is already at least one generation away from the original object!

Shakespeare in Quarto (British Library)
"See 107 copies of the 21 plays by Shakespeare printed in quarto before the 1642 theatre closures."

Facsimiles via The Internet Shakespeare Library
Links to digital facsimiles of all four folios plus an assortment of quartos.

Shakespeare via The Rare Book Room
A gathering of digitized Shakespeare quartos from a variety of sources.


Web Resources

John Carter. ABC for Book Collectors. Oak Knoll, 1995.
This is an essential guide to the technical vocabulary used to describe books. Print copies are available in the Frost Library circulating collection.