Jude Law as Hamlet, London West End production.

IC Library Print & Multimedia

William Shakespeare: Books About

      For books about an author, you should begin with a Subject search on the author's name (last name first).  General criticism will usually be found under the subheading "Criticism and interpretation":

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Criticism and interpretation

     For more specific bibliographic, critical, and historical resources, scan other available subheadings, which are listed alphabetically.  Below is a sample:

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Adaptations
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Authorship
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Biography
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Characters
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Characters--Falstaff
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Characters--Women
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Contemporary England
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Concordances
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Criticism, Textual
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Dramatic production
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Film and video adaptations
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Knowledge and learning
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Knowledge--Literature
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Knowledge--Psychology
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Language
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Philosophy
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Political and social views
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Religion
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Sources
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Stage history
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Style
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Technique

     Genres are also available as subheadings:

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Comedies
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Tragedies
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Tragicomedies  [Romances]
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Histories
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Sonnets

     Individual play titles are likewise interfiled as subheadings.  For example:

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Antony and Cleopatra
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. As you like it
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Hamlet
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. King Lear
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. King Richard III
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Macbeth
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Midsummer night\'s dream
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Othello
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Tempest

     And be aware that after four centuries of inhabiting the cultural landscape, some of Shakespeare's characters have taken on a life of their own--whether invented or based on historical figures--and exist as Subject Headings apart from Shakespeare:

Antonius, Marcus, 83?-30 B.C.--In literature
Caliban (Fictitious character)
Falstaff, John, Sir (Fictitious character)
Hamlet (Legendary character)
Henry V, King of England, 1387-1422--Drama
Lear, King (Legendary character), in literature
Macbeth, King of Scotland, 11th cent.--In literature
Othello (Fictitious character)
Puck (Legendary character) in literature
Richard II, King of England, 1367-1400--Drama
Shylock (Fictitious character)

William Shakespeare: Works By

     Since you will already have the texts you are writing about, running an Author search might seem unnecessary. But for Shakespeare an Author search uncovers various folios and critical editions, a wide range of editorial approach, adaptations, and multimedia versions.  For example:

All’s well that ends well; a concordance to the text of the first folio
Antony and Cleopatra : opera in 3 acts / music by Samuel Barber adapted by Franco Zeffirelli.
As you like it [DVD] produced by Kenneth Branagh
First folio of Shakespeare
Five Restoration adaptations of Shakespeare
Four plays ascribed to Shakespeare
Hamlet; a concordance to the text of the second quarto of 1604-5
Hamlet [electronic resource] / William Shakespeare ; fully annotated, introduction by Burton Raffel
Henry the Fourth, part I; an authorized text, cultural contexts, extracts from the major sources, essays in criticism, bibliography
Henry V: a concordance to the text of the first folio
King Lear, a critical edition
King Lear [sound recording] / William Shakespeare
List of all the songs & passages in Shakspeare which have been set to music
Macbeth : an authoritative text, sources and contexts, criticism
Macbeth, by William Shakespeare; a facsimile of the first folio text
Macbeth onstage : an annotated facsimile of Glen Byam Shaw’s 1955 promptbook
Macbeth : opera in four acts / music by Giuseppe Verdi
Macbeth [DVD / a film by Roman Polanski
Making of A midsummer night’s dream : an eye-witness account of Peter Brooks production from first rehearsal to first night
Much ado about nothing: a concordance to the text of the first quarto of 1600
Reconstructed text of Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Shakespeare’s poems: a facsimile of the earliest editions
Shakespeare’s songs
Tempest [DVD] / by William Shakespeare ; a BBC Television production

Shakespeare's World

     Note that both Great Britain and England are used in Subject headings and that Great Britain is the broader term, comprising England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

European literature--Renaissance, 1450-1600--History and criticism
English literature--History and criticism
English literature--Early modern, 1500-1700--History and criticism

English language--Early modern, 1500-1700--Rhetoric
English language--Early modern, 1500-1700--Style
Rhetoric--History--16th century
Rhetoric--History--17th century
Rhetoric, Renaissance

English poetry--History and criticism
English poetry--Early modern, 1500-1700--History and criticism
Sonnets, English--History and criticism

English drama--History and criticism
English drama (Comedy)--History and criticism
English drama (Tragedy)--History and criticism
English drama--Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600--History and criticism
English drama--17th century--History and criticism

Theater--Great Britain--History
Theater--England--History--16th century
Theater--England--History--17th century
Theater--England--London--History--16th century
Theater--England--London--History--17th century
Globe Theatre (Southwark, London, England)
Theatrical companies--England--London--History--16th century
Theatrical companies--England--London--History--17th century
Chamberlain's Men (Theater company)
King's Men (Theater company)
Theater audiences--England--History--16th century

Literature and history--Great Britain--History--16th century
Literature and history--Great Britain--History--17th century
Literature and history--England--History--17th century

Politics and literature--England--History--16th century
Politics and literature--England--History--17th century
Nationalism and literature--Great Britain--History--16th century
Law and literature--History--16th century
Economics and literature--Great Britain--History--17th century

Literature and society--England--History--16th century
Literature and society--England--History--17th century
Literature and society--Great Britain--History--17th century
National characteristics, English, in literature
National characteristics, English

Christianity and literature--England--History--16th century
Christianity and literature--England--History--17th century
Christianity and literature--Great Britain--History--17th century
Religion and literature--England--History--17th century

Literature and science--England--History--16th century
Literature and science--England--History--17th century
Literature and medicine--England--History--17th century
Science, Renaissance

Great Britain--Intellectual life--16th century
Great Britain--Intellectual life--17th century
England--Intellectual life--16th century
England--Intellectual life--17th century
Great Britain--Civilization--16th century
Great Britain--Civilization--17th century
England--Civilization--16th century
England--Civilization--17th century
Great Britain--Social life and customs--16th century
Great Britain--Social life and customs--17th century
England--Social life and customs--16th century
England--Social life and customs--17th century
England--Social conditions--16th century
England--Social conditions--17th century

Women and literature--England--History--16th century
Women and literature--England--History--17th century
Feminism and literature--England--History--16th century
Feminism and literature--England--History--17th century
Women--England--History--16th century
Women--England--History--17th century
Marriage in literature
Homosexuality and literature--England--History--16th century
Homosexuality and literature--England--History--17th century
Great Britain--Court and courtiers--History--16th century
Great Britain--Court and courtiers--History--17th century

England--Church history--16th century
England--Church history--17th century
Church of England--History
Church of England--History--16th century
Church of England--History--17th century

Great Britain--History
Great Britain--History--Tudors, 1485-1603
Great Britain--History--Tudors, 1485-1603--Sources
Great Britain--History--Stuarts, 1603-1714
Great Britain--History--Stuarts, 1603-1714--Sources
Great Britain--History--Early Stuarts, 1603-1649
Great Britain--History, Naval--Tudors, 1485-1603
Great Britain--History, Naval--Stuarts, 1603-1714
Great Britain--Politics and government--1558-1603
Great Britain--Politics and government--1603-1649

Great Britain--History--Henry VIII, 1509-1547
Henry VIII, King of England, 1491-1547
Great Britain--History--Edward VI, 1547-1553
Edward VI, King of England, 1537-1553
Great Britain--History--Mary I, 1553-1558
Mary I, Queen of England, 1516-1558
Great Britain--History--Elizabeth, 1558-1603
Great Britain--History--Elizabeth, 1558-1603--Sources
Elizabeth I, Queen of England, 1533-1603
Great Britain--History--James I, 1603-1625
James I, King of England, 1566-1625

Not in the IC Library?

     WorldCat via FirstSearch  is a "union catalog" that allows you to search the holdings of over 10,000 libraries from accross the country and around the world. Check WorldCat to discover what the entire universe of possible resources looks like for your topic. 
User Advisory:
  • Because this is such an enormous database you need to choose a "Limit Type to" before you begin. Most commonly you will be looking for "Books," "Visual Materials" (for example DVDs), or "Sound Recordings."
  • I recommend you avoid the "Author phrase," "Title phrase," and "Subject phrase" search fields and use "Author," "Title," or "Subject" instead. The "phrase" searches must be exact and are unforgiving.
  • If your topic is time-sensitive, try focusing on a recent time span under Year.
  • When you find an item you want you can request an interlibrary loan by opening the WorldCat record and clicking on "ILL (order via interlibrary loan)," which you'll find toward the top of the record under "External Resources." This will connect you to Ithaca College Library interlibrary loan, where you log in using your usual Netpass name and password. Logging in opens a form where all the identifying data will have automatically been transferred from the WorldCat record. All you have to do is click "Submit."

Contact Us

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Lisabeth Chabot

College Librarian
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Search Argos

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Recommended Databases

MLA International Bibliography  provides the most complete and fully indexed coverage of articles and books on modern literatures, linguistics, folklore, rhetoric, and composition from 1925 to the present. There is ample full text provided by ProQuest, as well as links to full-text articles in JSTOR and Project Muse. Full text from other IC databases is also readily available via the "GetIt" links below article citations.
     Because books, book chapters/essays, and dissertations will usually not be available full text, you may wish to limit your search to "Journal article" under "Source type."
     "Author's Work" and "Author as Subject" will be especially helpful search fields at finding literary criticism. And for additional search field options either click on "Show more fields," or, for the complete list, open the drop-down menus to the right of the "Anywhere" default for the top three rows of search slots. This list includes both "Literary Influence"--who influenced a particular author you have entered--and "Literary Source"--who was influenced by that particular author.
     If you set up a free "My Research" account with Proquest (top right), you can save all the articles you check, all the searches you want to remember, and set up e-mail or RSS notification for any new articles that match your search terms.
Recommended Databases for Literary Criticism (click here for the full list from the English Literature & Language guide).

Web Resources

Literary Research Guide

The IC Library has an online subscription to the MLA's Literary Research Guide.  Log-in (IC e-mail user name and password) is required.

Selected Web Sites

  • Digital Shakespeare  From the Folger Shakespeare Library -a Digital Anthology of Early English Drama, with the original scripts and visual images from 40 plays. 
  • Voice of the Shuttle: English Literature: Renaissance & 17th Century : An excellent gateway to Web resources, if a bit sprawling.  The main categories here are "General Resources," "Authors and Works" (alphabetical by author), and "Cultural and Historical Contexts." 
  • Luminarium: A very elegant site with easy access to both the primary works and selected secondary ciriticism.  The Shakespeare link in the Renaissance section connects you to the now defunct Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet site (for an archived version, see link below), but take a look at the outstanding "Renaissance Resources."   Also be sure to visit the "Luminarium Encyclopedia"--a work in progress. 
  • Early Modern Literary Studies: A scholarly journal on the literature and culture of the 16th and 17th centuries, with all the articles avialable full text.  The "Search EMLS" interface is only a single Keyword slot, but it's easy to target either criticism or e-texts. 
  • Intute: English LiteratureIntute was a major British gateway to web resources, lost its funding, and now exists only in this archived version. But many of its linked resources still work.  This page allows you to "Filter by Period" and you can limit your results to either the 16th or 17th century.  Each resource link is carefully selected and fully annotated.
  • Mr William Shakespeare & the Internet: This was the best all-purpose gateway to Shakespeare resources on the Web, but it was retired in 2013. The link above is to an Internet Archive copy of the site made just before it was taken down. Many links are now broken, but there is still a good deal of accessible content.  
  • Internet Shakespeare Editions: Texts, context, and criticism. 
  • Absolute Shakespeare: Scan-and-click access to the Bard.
  • Shakespeare Online  Pretty good gateway from Amanda Mabillard. Note especially her Shakespeare Timeline.
  • Shakespeare Resource Center Nothing very sophisticated at this student-research oriented site, but some useful links, well organized.
  • MIT Global Shakespeare  "Providing online access to performances of Shakespeare from many parts of the world as well as essays and metadata by scholars and educators in the field." In paticular see the Essays & Interviews.
  • Shakespeare's Globe Web site of the new Globe Theatre. See in particular the Papers and Research section.
  • Works of the Bard (online concordance): User preference divides between this digital archive of Shakespeare's works and the Complete Works of William Shakespeare from MIT, but despite MIT's cleaner design, this site is slightly more complete and has a better search engine powering its oncordance. 

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.