On this page you will find links to some of the more useful and important resources for the study of Shakespeare and of the early modern textual world.  This is only a fraction of the many resources available -- but these are the resources I use most often in my courses. So, if you are one of my students looking for an online database, you've come to the right place.

You can download a copy of my Special Collections worksheet here.

*Some of these databases are subscription-only -- in those cases, I've linked only to the UIowa proxy login

Index (click to jump directly to the section)



Shakespeare First Folio

Databases - Text and Image

Databases - Early Modern Book Trade

Short-Title Catalogues




Theatre History

Library Catalogues

Research Bibliographies


Oxford English Dictionary (OED) (UIowa login)

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) (UIowa login)


Internet Shakespeare Editions

Folger Digital Texts

Folger Shakespeare Library

     Shakespeare's Works

Shakespeare Documented

World Shakespeare Bibliography (UIowa login)

Understanding Shakespeare (JSTOR)

The Shakespeare Quartos Archive

Shakespeare in Quarto (British Library)

Furness Shakespeare Library (UPenn - SCETI)

Shakespeare Quartos at the Rare Book Room

Shakespeare's Words (Glossary and Language Companion)

Original New Variorum Shakespeare (NVSJC)

Shakespeare's Restless World (BBC podcast)

Shakespeare First Folio

Anchora posts with the "folio" tag

Digitized First Folios (Sarah Werner)

Online facsimiles of the First Folio (by Sarah Werner, aka Wynken de Worde)

First Folios online (The Collation)

Four states of Droeshout portrait (The Collation)

First Folio diaspora (Folger Shakespeare Library)

First Folios

Folger copy no. 68 (for a PDF, click here)

Folger copy no. 5 (for a PDF, click here)

Folger copy no. 9

UPenn Furness Library (SCETI)

Bodleian Library

Meisei University (annotated copy with marginalia)

     Shakespeare Folios Electronic Library (Folios 1-4)

     Transcript of Contemporary Marginalia (Akihiro Yamada)

Internet Shakespeare Editions (Brandeis and New South Wales)

     ISE facsimiles (Folios 1-4 + quartos)

Miami University (Folios 1-4)

Stuttgart (Wurttembergische Landesbibliothek)

Peter Blayney, "The First Folio of Shakespeare" (UPenn SCETI)

Fame, Fortune, & Theft (Folger Shakespeare Library exhibition)

Second Folios

Folger copy no. 7 (censored Valladolid copy)

Rose Rare Book Collection (Dayton -- annotated Hamlet leaves)

Holloway (Much Adoe About Nothing and Loves Labour's lost)

Ben Jonson

Jonson's 1616 folio Workes (SCETI)


Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson (UIowa login)

Databases - Text and Image

Early English Books Online (EEBO) (UIowa login)

EEBO-TCP (Text Creation Partnership) (UIowa login)

Early European Books (UIowa login)

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) (UIowa login)

Luna: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

British Printed Images to 1700 (BPI 1700)

Bodleian Library Digital Collections (Oxford)

Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Image (SCETI)

Annotated Books Online (ABO)

Gallica (BnF Digital Collection)

Early Dutch Books Online (EDBO)

Databases - Early Modern Book Trade

Database of Early English Playbooks (DEEP)

Lost Plays Database

British Book Trade Index (BBTI)

Transcript of the Stationers' Register (Arber, 1554-1640)

Transcript of the Stationers' Register (Eyre & Rivington, 1640-1708)

London Book Trades

Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL)

CERL Thesaurus

Latin place names (RBMS / ACRL / ALA)

Short-Title Catalogues

English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC)

Universal Short Title Catalogue (USTC)

Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (ISTC)


British Library Manuscripts Catalogue

British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts

Schoenberg Online Collections (UPenn / SCETI)

Penn in Hand (Selected Manuscripts from UPenn Libraries)

Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts

Medieval Electronic Scholarly Alliance (MESA)

The Digital Walters (Walters Art Museum)

Manuscripts Online (Written Culture 1000-1500)

Digital Scriptorium

Scriptorium (Cambridge University)

Free Library of Philadelphia (Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts)

Beinecke Digital Collections (Yale University)

Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts (CELM)


English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA)

Broadside Ballads Online (Bodleian Library)

Library Catalogues

Research Bibliographies

Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL) (UIowa login)

UIowa Library guide for English Literature

UIowa Writing Center

If you would like to know why you should never use the word "relatable" in an academic paper -- and how a professor responds if you do -- read Rebecca Onion on "The Awful Emptiness of 'Relatable'" and Rebecca Mead on "The Scourge of 'Relatability'"