Handbooks, Dictionaries, Bibliographies Periodicals and Periodical Indexes
Shakespearean Criticism Print & Electronic Textual Resources Internet Sources
HBLL 2008-2009
see also the related research guides on English Literature, Folklore and Literary Theory and Criticism.

Robert S. Means, English and American Literature Librarian, 5524 HBLL, 422 -6117


  1. Handbooks
  2. Dictionaries
  3. General Bibliographies
  4. Specialized Bibliographies
  5. HBLL Catalog
  6. Periodicals
  7. Periodical Indices
  8. Shakespearean Criticism
  9. Print & Electronic Textual Resources
  10. Internet Sources

Works by and about William Shakespeare (1564-1616) are classified in the Library of Congress (LC) numbers PR 2750-3112 - in the stacks as well as in Humanities/Religion Reference (Humanities Ref.), where we keep a selection of Shakespeare reference sources. Below are some examples.

Humanities Ref.
PR 3071 .W44 1987
William Shakespeare, a Textual Companion / By Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, with John Jowett, and William Montgomery. Oxford [Oxfordshire] : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1987.
Humanities Ref.
PR 2976 .S3374 1987
The Shakespeare Handbook / [Edited by] Levi Fox. Boston, Mass. : G.K. Hall, 1987.
Humanities Ref.
PR 2987 .B44x 1995
Shakespeare : a Study and Research Guide / David M. Bergeron & Geraldo U. de Sousa. 3rd ed., rev. Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c1995.

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(defining Shakespeare's language, characters, etc.)
Humanities Ref.
PR 2892 .D33 1995
The Shakespeare Name Dictionary / J. Madison Davis, A. Daniel Frankforter. New York : Garland, c1995.
Humanities Ref.
PR 2892 .S447 1996
Shakespeare's Language : a Glossary of Unfamiliar Words in Shakespeare's Plays & Poems / Eugene F. Shewmaker. New York : Facts On File, c1996.
Humanities Ref.
PR 2997 .P8 W47 1998

A Dictionary of Shakespeare's Semantic Wordplay / Gilian West. Lewiston, NY : E. Mellen Press, 1998.

Humanities Ref.
PR 3012.S53 1999

Biblical References in Shakespeare's Plays / Naseeb Shaheen. Newark: University of Delaware; London; Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, c1999.

Humanities Ref.
PR 2892 .O44
Who's Who and What's What in Shakespeare : Giving References by Topics to Notable Passages and Significant Expressions, Brief Histories of the Plays, Geographical Names and Historical Incidents, Mention of All Characters and Sketches of Important Ones, Together with Explanations of Allusions and Obscure and Obsolete Words and Phrases / By Evangeline M. O'Connor ; with a foreword by Alice Sachs. New York: Avenel Books: distributed by Crown Publishers, c1978.

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(articles and secondary sources about Shakespeare's works)
World Shakespeare Bibliography Online World Shakespeare Bibliography Online
Provides annotated entries for all important books, articles, book reviews, dissertations, theatrical productions, reviews of productions, audiovisual materials, electronic media and other scholarly and popular materials related to Shakespeare. The scope is international, with coverage extending to more than 92 languages and representing every country in North America, South America and Europe, and nearly every country in Asia, Africa and Australia. Coverage: 1969-2002
Humanities Ref.
PR 2976 .X1 S25 1992
Shakespeare Index : an Annotated Bibliography of Critical Articles on the Plays, 1959-1983 / edited by Bruce T. Sajdak. Millwood, N.Y. : Kraus International Publications, 1992. An especially well-indexed bibliography: accessible by play, subject, motif, etc.
Humanities Ref.
PR 2894 .X1 C53 1993
The Essential Shakespeare : an Annotated Bibliography of Major Modern Studies/ Larry S. Champion. 2nd ed. New York : G.K. Hall ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, c1993.
PR 2892 .X1 S525 1990 Shakespeare, a Bibliographical Guide / edited by Stanley Wells. New ed. Oxford, England : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1990.
Humanities Ref.
PR 2892 .X1 B48
Shakespeare / compiled by David Bevington. Arlington Heights, Ill. : AHM, 1978. A listing of the critical studies in Shakespeare, Elizabethan drama, etc. by subject, theme, approach, etc.
PR 2885 .S63 "Shakespeare: Annotated World Bibliography," Shakespeare Quarterly. 1950- . An annual bibliography published in SQ, an excellent source for updating older bibliographies. E-version available online at:

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Humanities Ref.
PR 2992 .M56 X668 2001
Shakespeare and Minorities: an Annotated Bibliography, 1970-2000 / Parvin Kujoory. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, c2001.
Humanities Ref.
PR 2976 .X1 K76 1991
Shakespeare and Feminist Criticism : an Annotated Bibliography and Commentary / Philip C. Kolin. New York : Garland, 1991.
822.339 Ve54s Shakespeare and the Classical Tradition; a Critical Guide to Commentary, 1660-1960 / [By] John W. Velz. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press [1968]
822.331 G98f The Foreign Sources of Shakespeare's Works; an Annotated Bibliography of the Commentary Written On this Subject Between 1904 and 1940, Together with Lists of Certain Translations Available to Shakespeare./ New York, Octagon Books, 1968 [c1947]



Keyword Searching Searches every field in the record (brings up a lot, but not always relevant material).
Advanced Searching Allows you to customize your search to look for words in the title, subject field or elsewhere in the record.
Browse Alphabetically Searches the subject field in the record (what the book is about).

This is the best way to find what the HBLL has about an author: simply enter the author's last name, first name (for example "Shakespeare, William") and you'll get a list of works on Shakespeare, arranged A-Z by topic, for example:
bibliographies, biographies, criticism and interpretation, etc.
Truncation Use the "$" to search for the variations on a root word:
"poet$" will retrieve "poets," "poetry," "poetic," "poetics," etc.
Subject Links When you're looking at a book record in the HBLL catalog, check the highlighted subject links, you may want to click on one to bring up other titles in the HBLL that deal with the same subject.
Call Number Browsing When you find a book on your subject, click on the highlighted call number in the upper LH corner of the HBLL catalog record to see what other books are near it on the shelf.

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PR 2885 .S63

Shakespeare Quarterly/ [Washington, etc.] Folger Shakespeare Library [etc.] Beginning in January, 1950. Includes the "Shakespeare: Annotated World Bibliography," an annual bibliography published in SQ, an excellent source for updating older bibliographies. The electronic version of this journal is also available at:
PR 2885 .S64
Shakespeare Studies/ Columbia, S.C. [etc.] University of South Carolina Press [etc.] Beginning with volume 1 (1965).
PR 2889 .D4
Shakespeare Jahrbuch. Deutsche Shakespeare-Gesellschaft/ Leipzig : B. Tauchnitz, 1925- Select issues going back to 1936.
PR 2807 .H267
Hamlet Studies/ [New Delhi, Vikas Pub. House] Beginning with volume 1 (April, 1979), "an international journal of research on The tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke."

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World Shakespeare Bibliography Online World Shakespeare Bibliography Online
Provides annotated entries for all important books, articles, book reviews, dissertations, theatrical productions, reviews of productions, audiovisual materials, electronic media and other scholarly and popular materials related to Shakespeare. The scope is international, with coverage extending to more than 92 languages and representing every country in North America, South America and Europe, and nearly every country in Asia, Africa and Australia. Coverage: 1969-2002

Humanities Ref.
PB 41 .X1 M6

MLA International Bibliography (ProQuest)
Modern Language Association International Bibliography
Indexes articles in literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore. From 1921 in the print version. The electronic version covers from 1963, and is updated ten times per year.

Humanities Ref.
PE 51 .X1 M69

Annual Bibliography of English Lang. & Literature
Indexes books, scholarly articles, critical editions of literary works, book reviews, collections of essays and dissertations dealing with English language and literature published anywhere in the world. From 1920 in both print and electronic versions.
Contains 109 of the very best literature journals in full-text going back to their first issue (in some cases to the late 1800's). The articles are retrieved in Adobe Acrobat and so appear as they did when they were originally published.
Project MUSE
Indexes the full-text of nearly 200 scholarly journals in literature, literary theory, and popular culture studies; however, in most cases, only a few of the most recent years of each journal are available in the Project MUSE archives.

AI 9 .I5

International Bibliography of Periodical Literature (IBZ)
Aus allen Gebieten des Wissens = International bibliography of periodical literature covering all fields of knowledge = Bibliographie internationale de la litterature periodique dans tous les domaines de la connaissance. Indexes international periodicals in all scholarly disciplines. Electronic version indexes from 1989. Updated twice a year.
Periodicals Archive Online (ProQuest)
Indexes the contents of thousands of periodicals in the humanities and social sciences, from their first issues through 1991 (1770-1991). Includes journals in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

AI 1 .A27x

Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI): Web of Science (ISI)
From 1975-1993 in the print version. Indexes over 1,300 international arts and humanities journals. Also indexes all references cited within the articles. The electronic version, the Arts/Humanities Search (Citations), indexes from 1980, and is updated weekly.

Humanities Index
Humanities Ref.
AI 3 .H85

Humanities Index
Includes 350 journals in archaeology, area studies, art, classics, communications, dance, film, history, linguistics, literature, music, performing arts, philosophy, and religion. From 1974 in the print version. The electronic version, Humanities Full Text (EBSCO), covers from 1984, and is updated monthly.

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(reprinted articles and essays on plays, etc.)
Humanities Ref.
PR 2965 .S43
Shakespearean Criticism : Excerpts from the Criticism of William Shakespeare's Plays and Poetry, From the First Published Appraisals to Current Evaluations / Detroit, MI : Gale Research Co., c1984-
A great source, very helpful. Three reasons: (1) indexes are especially good: you can look up a theme, a motif, to learn where it's been treated in relation to a play, character, etc. Or, you can begin with a play, a specific character, and see the connections with theme and/or motif. (2) the articles/essays (written by noteworthy, even famous critics/ contemporaries) are arranged in chronological order - earliest to the latest - revealing trends in criticism over the life of the author/work. And finally (3), the articles/essays are reprinted in their entirety - full-text - and include the citations for the original publication. Also available electronically through Literature Resource Center (LRC)(Gale).

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(for comparing editions, studying word usage, etc.)
Literature Online
Literature Online (LION)
Indexes the full-text of nine literary databases dealing with English poetry and drama, 18th century fiction, American and African poetry and Shakespeare. "Editions and Adaptations of Shakespeare (1591-1911)" includes eleven major editions from the First Folio to the Cambridge edition of 1863-6, twenty-four separate contemporary printings of individual plays, selected apocrypha and related works and more than one hundred adaptations, sequels and burlesques from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Early English Books Online (EEBO) - Texts
Early English Books Online (EEBO) - Images

Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains over 125,000 titles published between 1475-1700. Combining the listings of the major short-title catalogs, EEBO inlcudes publications in all subjects: literature, religion, government, medicine, science, and music. EEBO provides the facsimile of each work, so researchers can study these publications as they appeared: books printed by William Caxton, the earliest editions of Chaucers Cantebury Tales, The Book of Common Prayer (1549), The King James Bible (1611), Sir Thomas MOre, Galileo, as well as acts of Parliament, government documents on the early slave trade, and musical exercises by Henry Purcell.
Humanities Ref.
PR 2892 .S62 1973a
The Harvard Concordance to Shakespeare / by Marvin Spevack. Hildesheim, G. Olms, 1973. Print index of every word used in Shakespeare's plays and poems.
Humanities Ref.
PR 2751 .A15 1968b
The First Folio of Shakespeare / prepared by Charlton Hinman. London ; New York : P. Hamilton, 1968. Facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare (London, 1623).

Humanities Ref.
PE 1625 .O87 1989

Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Online
2nd ed. / prepared by J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner. Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1989. The 20 volume, 2nd edition (1989) includes 320,000 entries of English words; 580,000 cross-references; and 2.4 million quotations. The electronic version of the dictionary, OED Online is available on the library's homepage under "Resources by Subject."

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Mr. Shakespeare and the Internet
Mr. Shakespeare and the Internet aims to be a complete annotated guide to the scholarly Shakespeare resources available on the Internet. The site includes e-versions of Shakespeare's works, criticism, a Shakespeare timeline, Shakespeare genealogy, and links to other Shakespeare and Renaissance web resources.
Luminarium is a collection of Medieval, Renaissance, and 17th Cenury resources.

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