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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Shakespeare Studies: Databases and Digital Editions

Databases and Electronic Resources

Databases and Electronic Resources

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Below you'll find databases that will be most useful regarding the study of Shakespeare. For a refresher on how to search some of the more major ones, like the MLA International Bibliography and Literature Criticism Online, see our guide on Starting Research, which has instructions for searching the major databases. 

Find Journal Articles, Book Chapters, and other Scholarly Material

Databases to Get You Started with Your Research

The databases below will help you find articles and scholarly material. For all other databases associated with English Literature, please visit A-Z Databases

Please note that the "Refine Search" tab reviews how to include additional databases in your EBSCO hosted database search. We recommend that you include International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance with Full Text.

Reference Resources

Reference Resources for Shakespeare Studies

Below you will find the references resources most suitable for the study of Shakespeare. Simply decide which resource meets your needs and click the appropriate link to discover a wealth of information related to Shakespeare and his work.


Literature Criticism Online covers a range of modern and historical views on authors and their works across regions, eras and genres, offering tens of thousands of hard-to-find critical essays. 


The Literature Resource Center provides searchable database of full-text articles, essays, book reviews, plot summaries, poems, short stories, plays, and interviews with contemporary writers.

The Shakespeare Collection brings together general reference data, full-text scholarly periodicals, reprinted criticism, primary source material and the full-text annotated works from The Arden Shakespeare complete works.


The Oxford English Dictionary is widely considered to be the "definitive record of the English language," providing access to the  definitions, history, and pronunciation of over 600,000 words.


The World Shakespeare Bibliography provides annotated entries for books, articles, book reviews, dissertations, theatrical productions and reviews, and other scholarly and popular materials.

Digital Editions and other Digitized Content

Digital Editions and Other Digitized Content

Below you will find databases and other collections that presented digitized editions and other related content. Please select that resource that most appropriately addresses your research or learning needs. Please note that links to the Norton Shakespeare and the New Oxford Shakespeare appear on the LibGuide homepage.


Shakespeare in Performance showcases rare and unique prompt books from the world-famous Folger Shakespeare Library. 


Early English Books Online, or EEBO, provides access to images of nearly every work printed in Great Britain and North America--as well as other English works printed elsewhere--from 1400-1700.

Shakespeare: Editions and Adaptations contains 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.


English Drama provides access to over 3,900 plays, both in verse and prose, from the late 13th to the early 20th century.