List of digital resources at the Folger
This article provides a curated list of digital resources—arranged (mostly) alphabetically. This list is alphabetized according to the idiosyncrasies of what the Folger community most commonly calls a resource. If you are having trouble finding a resource, use the search box at the top of the page or your browser's "Find" feature (usually control-F).
The first sections, arranged alphabetically, contains freely available resources. The second section provides a list of subscription resources available to registered Folger researchers during the time our Reading Room is closed for renovation. The final section is a list of subscription resources that Folger staff will still have access to; please email email@example.com to set up an appointment for access.
Folger-created and hosted resources
BBI: British Book Illustrations: Extending Access to 17th-century Visual Culture is a project of the Folger Shakespeare Library, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), to digitize and index 10,000 woodcut and engraved illustrations in British and English-language books.
The Collation: a gathering of scholarship from the Folger Shakespeare Library is a blog about Folger collections and resources written by Folger staff and readers.
Digital Image Collections Database (LUNA) contains high-quality, high-resolution images of a large number of Folger collection items, divided into six collections (listed below). Users have the ability to store their preferred images in media groups, create presentations, and export images.
- Bas Relief Image Collection contains images of the nine bas reliefs that adorn the facade of the Folger Shakespeare Library.
- Bindings Image Collection contains research-quality images of bindings of aesthetic or historical merit.
- British Book Illustrations Image Collection contains the images and raw metadata from the "British Book Illustrations: Extending Access to 17th-century Visual Culture" project (first entry on this list).
- Digital Image Collection contains the majority of digitized collection images in the database.
- Manuscript Transcriptions Collection contains images from the Folger manuscript collection along with searchable, vetted semi-diplomatic transcriptions.
- First Folio Image Collection contains cover-to-cover images with color card and ruler for a number of Folger First Folios.
- Reference Image Collection contains cell-phone quality images taken by Folger librarians during the course of their work.
- Microfilm Image Collection contains digitized microfilm of Folger materials.
Finding Aids at the Folger Shakespeare Library guides users through the extensive manuscript collections with descriptions and lists of items.
The Union First Line Index of English Verse enables researchers to locate poems held in seven prestigious collections in the US and UK, including the Folger Shakespeare Library. The Index provides a database of over 224,000 first lines of manuscript and printed verse. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Folger SHAKESPEARE shares the complete works of Shakespeare, edited for modern readers.
The Folger's online catalog gives bibliographic information, copy-specific notes, and detailed information—often with links to images—of most of the items in the collection.
Lost Plays Database is a wiki-style forum for scholars to share information about lost plays in England, 1570-1642.
Microfilms Hand-List at the Folger Shakespeare Library (PDF) is an addition/supplementary list to the microfilm database. Readers are advised to check both places when searching for a microfilm.
Picturing Shakespeare was an NEH-funded project to help the Folger digitize thousands of 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century images representing Shakespeare’s plays.
PLRE.Folger: Private Libraries in Renaissance England complements the printed volumes of Private Libraries in Renaissance England (PLRE), an ongoing editorial project that has published eight volumes since 1992 in the Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies (MRTS) series.
Shakespeare Documented is the largest and most authoritative collection of primary-source materials documenting the life of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), bringing together all known manuscript and print references to Shakespeare, his works, and additional references to his family, in his lifetime and shortly thereafter.
Shakespeare Unlimited Podcast, a "no limits" tour of the connections between Shakespeare, his works, and our world.
The Token Books of St Saviour Southwark is an in-progress resource developed by William Ingram, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Alan H. Nelson, The University of California, Berkeley. The site makes available information from this rare type of parish record, spanning approximately 1571-1643.
Instructional video series
In the Folger How-tos: Hamnet Online Catalog video series, learn valuable tips and tricks to make the most of Hamnet, the Folger online library catalog.
The Folger How-tos: Research Essentials video series includes tips on how to navigate Shakespeare Documented, use the digital image collections to their maximum potential, and access subscription databases through a research account.
Watch the State Papers Online video series to learn navigation tips and tricks for this valuable, but sometimes complicated, online resource. Note: State Papers Online, 1509-1714 is made available through an institutional subscription onsite at the Folger Shakespeare Library or through the Folger researcher request system (through 2022). Check your institution’s e-resource subscriptions for local availability.
Freely Available Electronic Resources
1641 Depositions From Trinity College Dublin (MSS 809-841) are witness testimonies mainly by Protestants, but also by some Catholics, from all social backgrounds, concerning their experiences of the 1641 Irish rebellion. Create a free account to view the depositions.
19th Century Acts! showcases different aspects of theatrical performance through mapping and current and historical digital images.
Association of College and Research Libraries online instruction guides includes powerpoints, lesson plans, and other resources produced and compiled by Melissa Wong of the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
American Archive of Public Broadcasting: Discover historic programs of publicly funded radio and television across America. Select Browse for subject browses of Literature, History, Theater and more.
Annotated Books Online is a virtual research environment for scholars and students interested in historical reading practices. Create a free account to contribute transcriptions and/or translations of annotations.
ArchBook: Architectures of the Book is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal focusing on specific design features of printed books.
Atlas of Early Printing is an interactive site designed to be used as a tool for teaching the early history of printing in Europe during the second half of the fifteenth century.
Before Shakespeare is a project that explores the earliest days of the Elizabethan playhouses, focusing on the mid 16th century London commercial playhouses.
Bess of Hardwick's Letters, which number almost 250 items of correspondence, bring to life her extraordinary story and allow us to eavesdrop on her world. Her letters allow us to reposition Bess as a complex woman of her times, immersed in the literacy and textual practices of everyday life, as her correspondence extends from servants, friends and family, to queens and officers of state.
The Bibliographical Society of America list of resources compiles essays, lists, and other bibliographical materials in aid of bibliographical study. The resource features wide date ranges and ample geographical coverage.
The Bibliographic Society of America Online Instruction Resources: Digital Repositories for Book History Teaching, Research, & More is a static resource that will be updated as new contributions come in.
Book History UNBOUND provides supplemental digital humanities materials that supplement print articles in Book History, the journal of the Society for the History of Authorship and Reading (SHARP).
Book Owners Online is a directory of historical book owners, with information about their libraries, and signposts to further reference sources. It currently covers seventeenth-century English owners with the potential to be expanded.
Bristol Old Vic Playbills: collection of playbills from the Theatre Royal/Bristol Old Vic, digitized by the Bristol Archive. Covers some 18th century (earliest from 1768), primarily first half of 19th century (1810-1840).
British Library Digitised Manuscripts includes a wide selected of digital images from manuscripts in the British Library.
Broadside Ballad Archive is maintained by the Bodleian Libraries and features the Bodleian's digital collections of ballads, with links to the English Broadside Ballad Archive’s digital presentations of pre-1800 ballads from other libraries, and to the folk song scholarship of the Roud Broadside Index, hosted by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (from the website).
The John Carter Brown Library Online Publications features pdfs of out of print publications by and about The John Carter Brown Library collection.
Bookbinding Dictionary (Multilingual): an international dictionary of bookbinding and conservation terms.
British Book Trade Index: The BBTI aims to include brief biographical and trade details of all those who worked in the English and Welsh book trades up to 1851. BBTI includes not only printers, publishers and booksellers but also other related trades, such as stationers, papermakers, engravers, auctioneers, ink-makers and sellers of medicines, so that the book trade can be studied in the context of allied trades.
British Printed Images to 1700 (bpi1700) is a digital library of prints and book illustrations from early modern Britain.
British Universities Film and Video Council: Shakespeare An International Database of Shakespeare on Film, Television and Radio. This authoritative online database of Shakespeare-related content in film, television, radio and video recordings is international in scope, is regularly updated and currently holds over 9,000 records dating from the 1890s to the present day.
The Cambridge Works of Ben Jonson Online provides a fully digitized and updated edition of Jonson's complete writings, with editorial and scholarly remarks throughout the texts.
The Casebooks Project: In the decades around 1600, the astrologers Simon Forman and Richard Napier produced one of the largest surviving sets of medical records in history. The Casebooks Project, a team of scholars at the University of Cambridge, has transformed this paper archive into a digital archive.
Chronicling America contains fully searchable American historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963.
Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540-1835 makes available and searchable the principal records of clerical careers from over 50 archives in England and Wales with the aim of providing coverage of as many clerical lives as possible from the Reformation to the mid-nineteenth century.
Common-Place is a destination for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture. A bit less formal than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine, Commonplace speaks—and listens—to scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and just about anyone interested in American history before 1900.
COPIA/CERES (Cambridge English Renaissance Electronic Service) provides access to manuscripts related to Spenser and resources for early modern English handwriting.
Court Depositions of South West England, 1500-1700 is a digital edition of 80 fully transcribed depositions relating to 20 cases heard in the church courts and Quarter Sessions between 1556 and 1694 across Devon, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire. These depositions or witness statements relate to a range of crimes and offences tried in these two types of courts, from defamation to theft and are rich in detail of social, economic, political and religious life in early modern England. This digital edition has been prepared as part of the Leverhulme-funded project Women's Work in Rural England, 1500-1700 undertaken at the University of Exeter between 2013 and 2018.
Leonardo da Vinci and his Treatise on Painting: website examining all of the different variations of this text that appeared throughout the centuries; includes extensive bibliography.
DEx: Database of Dramatic Extracts DEx is an online, searchable database of dramatic extracts found in seventeenth-century manuscripts. DEx is published by Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Digital Cavendish, a scholarly collaborative, brings together original research, scholarly resources, digital editions, and teaching resources to fill out the world and works of Margaret Cavendish.
Digital Renaissance Editions "publishes electronic scholarly editions of early English drama and texts of related interest, from late medieval moralities and Tudor interludes, occasional entertainments and civic pageants, academic and closet drama, and the plays of the commercial London theaters, through to the drama of the Civil War and Interregnum."
Discography of American Historical Recordings "a database of master recordings made by American record companies during the 78rpm era. It is part of the American Discography Project (ADP)—an initiative of the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Packard Humanities Institute that is edited by a team of researchers based at the UCSB Library" (from the website).
DEEP (Database of Early English Playbooks): searchable bibliography of "every playbook produced in England, Scotland, and Ireland from the beginning of printing through 1660".
Dictionary for Library and Information Sciences is designed as a hypertext reference resource for library and information science professionals, university students and faculty, and users of all types of libraries.
Early Americas Digital Archive is a collection of electronic texts and links to texts originally written in or about the Americas from 1492 to approximately 1820, supported by University of Maryland.
Early Modern British Painters dataset identifies all those men and women who have been identified as painters of any sort working in England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland between the years 1500 and 1640. Compiled by Robert Tittler, Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Concordia University, Montreal, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Early Modern Culture published works-in-progress by major scholars in early modern studies, along with a set of responses from readers. No longer publishing as of 2019.
Early Modern Digital Review (EMDR) is an online, open-access, and refereed journal publishing high-quality reviews of digital projects related to early modern society and culture. It is committed to productive evaluation of both established digital resources and recent tools and projects.
Early Modern Literary Studies is a refereed journal serving as a formal arena for scholarly discussion and as an academic resource for researchers in the areas of English literature, literary culture, and language during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Early Modern London Theatres (EMLoT): Information related to professional performance in purpose-built theatres and other permanent structures in the London area.
Early Modern Low Countries "a multidisciplinary open access journal dedicated to the study of the early modern Low Countries. We publish state-of-the-art scholarship on any aspect of the turbulent history and vibrant culture of the region from about 1500 to 1830 from a variety of perspectives" (from the website). EMLC appears in two installments annually.
Early Modern Plays on Page & Stage: Online Resources is a list of resources compiled by Claire M. L. Bourne, Assistant Professor of English at Penn State University.
Early Print: Text Mining Early Printed English provides a range of tools for the computational exploration and analysis of English print culture before 1700.
Early Printed Books, by Sarah Werner is a companion to her book, Studying Early Printed Books, 1450-1800: A Practical Guide. Intended to be able to be used both alongside and separately from the book, the website is an open-access, freely available resource that can supplement anyone’s explorations of early printed books.
Early Stuart Libels: early 17th century English political poetry from the accession of King James I to the outbreak of the English Civil War.
The Encyclopedia of Diderot & D'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project provides translations to the famed encyclopedia along with search capabilities and teaching resources.
England's Immigrants is a database of over 64,000 names of people known to have migrated to England in the period 1350-1550. The information is drawn from a variety of sources, such as taxation assessments, letters of denization and protection, and other licenses and grants.
English Broadside Ballad Archive from the University of California, Santa Barbara, provides access to images and transcriptions of English Broadside Ballads from the long 17th century.
English Short-Title Catalogue (ESTC) is a comprehensive, international union catalogue listing early books, serials, newspapers and selected ephemera printed before 1801. For more information on this resource please see English Short-Title Catalogue.
EuroDocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe is a repository of links to freely available primary source documents on the web; organized by both geographic area and time period.
Exemplaria is an open access journal that reconsider the methods and aims of scholarship on the medieval and early modern periods, broadly conceived.
John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs Variorum Edition (TAMO): browse and compare the unabridged texts of the four editions of this massive work published in John Foxe’s lifetime (1563, 1570, 1576, 1583).
Food History Digital Primary Sources guide from the Culinary Institute of America.
GEMMS: Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons is a group-sourced online bibliographic database of early modern (1530-1715) manuscript sermons from the UK, Ireland and North America.
Global Middle Ages Project (G-MAP) is a portal site for digital projects encompassing the Medieval and Early Modern worlds.
Glossary of digital humanities terms aims to help both novices and more advanced users of digital tools and approaches understand common terms employed in the digital humanities.
Glossary of Illuminated Manuscripts: reproduced and illustrated by the British Library from Michelle P. Brown, Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms (J. Paul Getty Museum: Malibu and British Library: London, 1994).
Gravell (The Thomas L. Gravell Watermark Archive) brings together more than 50,000 watermarks from America and Europe, including 7,500 images collected by American-watermark expert Thomas L. Gravell and about 45,000 unpublished marks documented by Charles-Moise Briquet.
Hamlet Works is "everything you ever wanted to know about Hamlet", a searchable databases of editions and criticism.
Henslowe-Alleyn Digitization Project "has two aims and objectives: first, to protect and conserve these increasingly fragile manuscripts, and, second, to make their contents much more widely available in a free electronic archive and website, not only to specialist scholars but to all those interested in early modern English drama and theatre history, as well as social, economic, regional, architectural, and legal history, and paleography and manuscript studies" (from the website).
Heritage of the Printed Book Database (HPB) (formerly called the Hand Press Book Database) is a steadily growing collection of files of catalogue records from major European and North American research libraries covering items of European printing of the hand-press period (c.1455-c.1830) integrated into one file. This makes it possible for information to be retrieved in one single search across all files. (N.b. as of Summer 2016, Folger items are not yet integrated into this database) As of January 2018, this resource is freely available!
Historical Calendar: Multi-country historical calendar for the years 1100 to 2100. Allows automatic conversion between Old Style and New Style dates.
History of the Book, by Johanna Drucker is a networked resource focused on the production and reception of materials related to the history of the book and literacy technologies, broadly conceived.
History of Parliament is a research project creating a comprehensive account of parliamentary politics in England, then Britain, from their origins in the thirteenth century. It consists of detailed studies of elections and electoral politics in each constituency, and of closely researched accounts of the lives of everyone who was elected to Parliament in the period, together with surveys drawing out the themes and discoveries of the research and adding information on the operation of Parliament as an institution. Note: it is a work in progress, with some sections more complete than others.
History On-Line provides information for historians with details of university lecturers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, current and past historical research, digital history projects, new books and journals from a range of leading publishers and sources of funding available for researchers in the UK.
The Holinshed Project parallel texts edition, furnished with links to each page of Early English Books Online (subscription required). Users can navigate using a variety of entry points. Project overview and history, as well as sample texts, can be found here.
Robert Hooke's Books is an online source on the library of the 17th-century virtuoso Robert Hooke (1635-1703) is an on-going collaboration between Will Poole, Felicity Henderson, and Yelda Nasifoglu who are currently undertaking research on different aspects of Hooke’s work. As it is a work-in-progress, further research notes will be continually added to the database, and new editions of the editors’ Introduction are expected to be released.
Impressae: Women Printers in Early Modern Antwerp, Leuven, and Douai reconstructs the lives and work of women printers in Antwerp, Leuven and Douai during two centuries (sixteenth through seventeenth). It contains information about kinship and commercial networks, printing houses and rare books. It contains linked data on more than 1 300 persons, almost 3 700 publications and more than 150 organisations.
International Library Catalogs from vialibri.net. Provides a list of union and other catalogs from Europe and the United States. Links to sources such as WorldCat, the KVK, and artlibraries.net.
Internet Shakespeare Editions: information on Shakespeare's texts and life and times. Includes a performance database and the semi-annual online journal Scene.
Intoxicants & Early Modernity: England, 1580-1714 explores the insight that the period between the introduction of tobacco in the 1570s and the ‘Gin Craze’ of the early eighteenth century was a formative phase in the production, traffic, consumption, and representation of intoxicants.
The JUBA Project: Early Blackface Minstrelsy in Britain 1842-1852, from the University of Toronto, draws together a range of documentation into a database that allows the visitor to access information on the individuals, troupes, and 'acts,' that toured in Britain during these crucial years.
The Kit Marlowe Project created by undergraduate students to offer accessible resources for learning about one of Shakespeare’s most influential contemporaries and collaborators, Christopher Marlowe (Project Director: Kristen Abbott Bennett at Framingham University).
Layers of London is a map-based history website developed by the Institute of Historical Research.
Leibniz Translations provides full-text translations of the work of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in English translation.
Lexicons of Early Modern English searches and displays word-entries from monolingual English dictionaries, bilingual lexicons, technical vocabularies, and other encyclopedic-lexical works, 1480-1702.
Liverpool University Press-Open Access provides scholarly monographs offered via open-access from a pioneer in OA publishing.
London Stage database is a searchable version of The London Stage, a key reference work documenting theatrical performances from the reopening of the public playhouses following the English civil wars in 1660 to the end of the eighteenth century. This information has been compiled from the playbills, newspapers and theatrical diaries of the period.
Luminarium is an online anthology of English literature from the late Medieval period through the 18th century; texts from out-of-copyright editions.
Manus Online is a database containing catalogue descriptions and digital images of manuscripts, private papers and archives held by Italian public, private and ecclesiastical libraries. The census, launched in 1988, aims to list and catalogue manuscripts written in Latin alphabet from the Middle Ages to date, including private papers and literary archives.
Manuscript Cookbooks Survey includes a database of pre-1865 English-language manuscript cookbooks held in U. S. public institutions as well as a database of kitchen artifacts used at the time these manuscripts were written.
Manuscript Pamphleteering in Early Stuart England: Before the outbreak of Civil War in 1642, England developed a large, influential and often radical pamphlet literature. This project aims to survey the vast hidden archive of early Stuart England's manuscript pamphlets. Images and transcriptions of many early modern pamphlets are available, in addition to bibliographical descriptions.
Manuscript Verse Miscellanies 1700-1820 is a searchable database describing hundreds of manuscript poetry books. Links to First Line Index where relevant, plus lots of metadata about the manuscripts.
Material Cultures of Early Modern Women's Writing Digital Archive provides online editions of women's writing that circulated in a variety of forms in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This project draws from manuscript sources as well as print editions, and provides both images and transcriptions of these often multiform texts.
Map of Early Modern London (MoEML) comprises a digital edition of the 1561 Agas woodcut map of London; an Encyclopedia and Descriptive Gazetteer of London people, places, topics, and terms; a Library of marked-up texts rich in London toponyms; and a versioned edition of John Stow’s Survey of London.
Mary Wroth's Poetry: An Electronic Edition: Edited by Paul Salzman, this electronic edition includes a textual introduction, a contextual bibliography, a critical introduction to the poetry of Mary Wroth, and full text of the poems.
The Medici Archive Project: Documentary Sources for the Arts and Humanities in the Medici Granducal Archive, 1537-1743, is a fully searchable database describing hundreds of volumes of documents in the Medici Granducal Archive (Archivio Mediceo del Principato).
Medieval Digital Resources (MDR): The Medieval Academy of America has put together a curated database of peer-reviewed digital materials for the study of the Middle Ages. Users can browse an alphabetical list or search using controlled-vocabulary subject tags to find vetted online resources of many types. Please note that MDR does not include resources that are paywalled or require password access, although some resources may have restrictive use-licenses.
Medieval and Early Modern Orients (MEMOs) is an AHRC-funded project that seeks to further knowledge and understanding of the early interactions between England and the Islamic worlds.
MIT Global Shakespeares video and performance archive.
Middle English Compendium contains three Middle English electronic resources: the Middle English Dictionary, a Bibliography of Middle English prose and verse, and a Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse.
The Motley Collection of Theatre and Costume Design at the University of Illinois has over 5000 items from more than 150 theatrical productions in England and the United States.
The National Union Catalog, pre-1956 imprints are made available through HathiTrust.
The Nautical Archaeology Digital Library includes artifact collections, mapping of shipwrecks, maritime exploration, shipbuilding and other resources for international history of sea travel.
New York Public Library Digital Collections site provides access to digitized collection materials from the extensive NYPL holdings, touching on all areas within the Folger collecting scope.
Open Library offers a platform to browse for and read thousands of books.
Oxford Text Archive collects, catalogues, preserves and distributes high-quality digital resources for research and teaching; they currently have thousands of texts in more than 25 languages (some restrictions). Includes a separate catalog of TCP (Text Creation Partnership) items.
List of online resources for early modern English paleography was compiled to assist early modern scholars begin to learn to decipher, read, and interpret manuscript materials written in early handwriting.
Paper and Watermarks as Bibliographical Evidence from the Institut d'histoire du livre is a bibliographical guide to texts and images relating to the history of paper and papermaking, mainly comprising the hand-papermaking period.
Virtual St. Paul's Cathedral Project/Ambient Noise is a digital recreation of worship and preaching at St. Paul's Cathedral in early modern London.
Pedagogy Toolkit for English provides a community-driven resources for digital pedagogy in composition, rhetoric, and literature.
The Diary of Samuel Pepys chronicles the daily entries from the famous 17th century London diary.
Portraits of Actors gathers studio portraits and actors posing in costume, 1720-1920.
The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making, a "digital collaboration aims at allowing readers to engage with multiple, different representations and readings of Hester Pulter’s striking verse" (from the website).
Rare Book School Lectures are available via approximately 400 Soundcloud podcasts on a wide variety of bibliographical subjects that cover the entire history of books.
Re-Activating Restoration & 18th-Century Theatre for the 21st Century includes video and audio resources and syllabus ideas aimed at assisting instructors. In the longer term, this research consortium will be working with professional theatre artists and companies in the US, Canada, and UK to encourage new productions and convening research workshops and focused conferences at the Newberry Library and Oxford University (open to graduate students and faculty).
Records of Early English Drama (REED) is an international scholarly project that is establishing for the first time the context from which the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries grew. Contains transcribed and edited historical documents containing evidence of drama, secular music, and other communal entertainment and ceremony from the Middle Ages until 1642.
Reformation 500 is an online resource for the commemoration of the Quincentenary of the Reformation in 2017 managed by Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Here you will find information on important people and events of the Reformation, news and upcoming events, blog posts by a variety of authors offering different perspectives on the Reformation and its significance.
Renaissance Knowledge Network publications address a myriad of topics surrounding the creation of digital projects that display resources related to Renaissance and Early Modern studies.
Restoration Printed Fiction is a database from the English Department at Texas Tech University. Including 394 fictions printed between 1660 and 1700 (fiction has been defined broadly here), this database allows users to search for basic information, such as author, title, bookseller, printer, and date, as well as more detailed information, such as whether the text has paratexts like dedications or prefaces.
Rinascimento: Harvard University's Research Guide for Renaissance Studies. Contains links to databases, websites, and other resources, divided and subdivided by general topical area.
A Roll of Early American Arms from The American Heraldry Society provides descriptions and citations for coats of arms held by Americans before 1825.
Romeo and Juliet: Searchable Database for Prompt Books contains information from approximately 170 prompt-books for productions of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. These productions range from the seventeenth century to the 1980s.
Scholarly Editing is an open-access journal committed to the development and advancement of all aspects of textual editing, including documentary editing. The content published in the journal includes essays, micro editions, reviews of print and digital editions, and teaching materials. The journal’s eclectic, multidisciplinary approach makes it an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the theory, practice, and pedagogy of scholarly editing, including educators, researchers, scholars, historians, archivists, editors, information professionals, and digital humanists.
Scriptorium: Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Online: A digital archive of manuscript miscellanies and commonplace books from c. 1450-1720.
Shakedsetc.org provides information and links to digital copies of Shakespeare's works, from the earliest quartos to 18th, 19th, and 20th century editions.
Searching for Shakespeare "provide[s] the ability to view selected objects recovered from the excavations of New Place between 2010 and 2016. These objects are presently housed in the museum collections of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and most are not readily available to be viewed by the public" (from the website).
Shakeosphere allows users to visualize, map, and explore these social networks in Shakespeare's England and beyond, from 1473-1800.
17th Century Shakespearean Prompt Books from the University of Virginia, with introductions to each book and descriptions of each annotation within the plays.
Shakespeare Album site presents Illustrating the History of Germany's Shakespeare Reception: the Birmingham Photo Album convened in 2016 by Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz. A commemorative digital photo album was created with 109 portraits and autograph signatures of personalities meritorious for having communicated and maintained the interest for Shakespeare in Germany. Consult this resource in combination with German scholar Friedrich August Leo materials and other German language manuscripts held by the Folger.
Shakespeare Census attempts to locate and describe all extant copies of all editions of Shakespeare’s works through 1700, excluding the folios. It includes all items attributed to Shakespeare in print during the period, but not those attributed to him only by modern scholarship, and excludes the Restoration adaptations.
Shakespeare and the Players is an online exhibition and scholarly resource of nearly 1,000 postcards featuring many famous English and American actors who performed Shakespeare’s plays for late Victorian and Edwardian audiences, held at Emory University.
Shakespeare in the Royal Collection is a searchable online catalogue of Shakespeare-related objects in the Royal Collection and an online exhibition.
Shakespeare in Sheets project recreates the author's early plays and books in printable and foldable sheets of paper.
Shakespeare Train is a portion of the Ellen Terry and Edith Craig digital archive, available through the University of Essex. It provides a portal to Ellen Terry stage and lecture history and links to the main documentary archive and the Search for Theatrical Ancestors database.
Shakespeare Virtual Issue (Edinburgh University Press) is freely accessible and provides a list of hand-picked articles from across their catalogue of journals, dedicated to the Bard, his work and reception across both history and literary studies.
ShaLT: Shakespearean London Theatres: Histories of early modern theatres, with a map, guides, and films. A joint project of the De Montfort University and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The Sifter: A Tool for Food History Research.
Statutes of the Realm: for statutes from the Magna Carta to 1761, the most efficient place to search is Owen Ruffhead's mid-18th century Statutes at Large. This text can be found in ECCO, and freely available on the Internet Archive: Vol. 1: Magna Carta to Henry VI, Vol. 2: Edward IV to Elizabeth I, Vol. 3: James I to William and Mary, Vol. 4: William and Mary to Anne, Vol. 5: George I to George II, Vol. 6: George II, con't, Vol. 7: George II, con't more, Vol. 8: George II to George III, Vol. 9: George III con't plus Index
T.E.A.M.S.: Transcribing Early American Manuscript Sermons is a collaborative scholarly effort to make the voluminous archival record of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century ecclesiastical worship more accessible to academic researchers, pastors, and the general public. This digital archive houses sermons transcribed from the papers of Baptist, Catholic, Congregational, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and Unitarian ministers who preached up and down the Atlantic coast of North America; it includes the manuscript sermons of white, Native American, and African American preachers.
Theatregoing is an ongoing survey reproducing eyewitness testimony of seeing theatrical productions, from the sixteenth century to the present day.
UK RED or "the Reading Experience Database" explores what United Kingdom residents and British subjects living or travelling abroad read between the invention of the printing press in 1450 and the end of the Second World War in 1945, how, and in what circumstances did they read.
The Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive contains over 3000 illustrations from four of the most significant illustrated editions of Shakespeare's works in the Victorian period. All images have been tagged bibliographically and iconographically.
Visualizing English Print (from the site) "Our mission is to scale humanist scholarship to ‘big data’ by removing several barriers to statistically analyzing digital Early Modern English texts, like those released by the Text Creation Partnership...This website equips you with the necessary tools to make your own corpora, visually explore them, and download preliminary metadata."
Wenceslaus Hollar Digital Collection: Digital images from the Fisher Library Collection at the University of Toronto.
Westminster Abbey|History includes short essays on each feature of the Abbey, including entries on each burial or memorial site.
Who Were the Nuns?: A prosopographical study of the English Convents in exile 1600-1800. Traces the membership of the English convents in exile, from the opening of the first institution in Brussels to the nuns’ return to England as a result of the French Revolution and associated violence. Database provides the membership, family trees, edited documents, maps and analysis of the nuns’ experiences
Wildenstein Plattner Institute has made available digitized auction sales catalogues from pre-1945, numbering over 11,000.
Women in Book History: A Bibliography is a database of secondary sources on women's writing and labor.
Subscription Resources Available Off-site
These resources, listed by database vendor, are available to registered Folger researchers, via their Online Request Account. Instructions for accessing each resource may be found in the Help Guide for Offsite Subscription Resource Access.
Cecil Papers archive consists principally of the correspondence of William Cecil, Lord Burghley (1520-1598) and his son, Robert, the 1st Earl of Salisbury (1563-1612).
Early English Books Online (EEBO) provides digital facsimile page images of works printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700; full-text search of EEBO-TCP Phase 1 and Phase 2. For more information about EEBO, see History of Early English Books Online.
- Early English Books Online ProQuest Guide: ProQuest has put together a LibGuide (a help guide) related to the EEBO database, detailing the differences between the old Chadwick-Healey interface and the new ProQuest interface, which exact fields you can search, and other useful information. Please note that while access to this guide is unrestricted, the database itself requires an institutional subscription.
Early Modern England: Society, Culture & Everyday Life, 1500-1700 brings together documents and objects from seven different archives and libraries to offer insights into the lived experience in England from 1500-1700. Includes a wide range of materials including legal records, family correspondence, administrative records, wills, inventories and commonplace books among others.
Literary Manuscripts Online: 17th and 18th Century Poetry from the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds provides manuscripts of 17th and 18th century English language verse, including first lines, last lines, attribution, author, title, date, length, verse form, content and bibliographic references for over 6,600 poems within the collection.
Literary Print Culture: The Stationers' Company Archive provides documents sourced from the archive of The Worshipful Company of Stationers & Newspaper Makers, including the Stationers' Register, Membership Records, Court Records, and other Company administrative records.
Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers, 1500-1700 features manuscripts written or compiled by women in the British Isles in the 16th and 17th centuries; also includes bibliographic sources.
Shakespeare in Performance is a database from Adam Matthew Digital which features over 1000 fully digitized promptbooks from the Folger collection.
Shakespeare's Globe Archive: Theatres, Players, & Performance documents the performance and construction history of the new Globe and the indoor theatre space of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. It includes prompt books, design materials, administrative records of the theatre, and more.
Virginia Company Archives contains transcripts and images of the Ferrar Papers from Magdalene College, Cambridge, and the papers of the Virginia Company. Documents date from approximately 1540-1770.
British Literary Manuscripts Online, Part I: 1660-1990 & Part II: Medieval & Renaissance facsimile images of literary manuscripts, including letters and diaries, drafts of poems, plays, novels, and other literary works, and similar materials; early 12th century through 1900.
British Theatre: Nineteenth Century Collections Online features a wide range of primary sources related to the arts in the Victorian era, from playbills and scripts to operas and complete scores.
Burney Collection Newspapers is a 17th-18th century collection that contains not only newspapers, but newsbooks, Acts of Parliament, broadsides, pamphlets and proclamations.
ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online) primarily focuses on publications from the British Isles, but does include material from Western Europe and Russia. Access to page images and some full-text search.
Nichols Newspapers Collection British Theatre, Music, and Literature: High and Popular Culture features the newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets and broadsheets that form the Nichols newspaper collection held at the Bodleian library in Oxford, UK. The collection includes approximately 300 primary titles of newspapers and periodicals and 300 pamphlets and broadsheets, covering the period 1672-1737.
State Papers Online provides access to the Calendars, transcript and document images for the Domestic and Foreign State Papers, and Registers of the Privy Council for 1509-1714.
The New Cambridge Shakespeare provides access to Shakespeare's works together with a wealth of integrated reference material.
American National Biography is updated semi-annually with new articles and revisions of previously published entries; contains articles of notable Americans through the mid-twentieth century.
The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare is a searchable, indexed version of the 2nd edition print resource.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online (DNB Online) contains biographical information on men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century; updated three time a year.
Oxford Scholarly Editions Online is an interlinked collection of authoritative Oxford editions of major works from the humanities. Our subscription includes early modern content.
- Following subsets only (list of titles included in each subset):
- Early Seventeenth Century Drama
- Early Seventeenth Seventeenth Century Poetry
- Early Seventeenth Seventeenth Century Prose
- Martin Wiggins and Catherine Richardson, British Drama 1533-1642: A Catalogue
- Renaissance Drama
- Renaissance Poetry
- Renaissance Prose
Bibliography of British and Irish History contains 300,000 records on British and Irish history, including relations with the empire and Commonwealth.
Subscription Resources Available On-site
The following resources will remain on-site access only. Please email email@example.com with questions.
American Book Prices Current: records of books, manuscripts, autographs, maps and broadsides sold at auction, primarily US and UK
American Council of Learned Societies Humanities E-Book (HEB): E-book records are searchable in Hamnet, with a link to ACLS full-text. All e-books are full-text searchable at ACLS site.
American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language (ARTFL) contains French-language texts from the 12th to 20th century, Diderot and d'Alembert's late 18th century Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, par une Société de Gens de lettres, digitized versions of many Bibliothèque Bleue de Troyes (17th to mid-19th c.), a searchable version of Montaigne's Essais, and a different search interface for Tufts' Perseus Project (Greek & Latin texts).
Archive Grid is a service provided by OCLC brings together information about archives, special collections and other collections of manuscripts and papers.
Arkyves: Access to the full Iconclass browser at Arkyves, containing all of the images from the British Book Illustrations project, as well as over 800,000 additional images from a number of institutions all over the world.
Bibliography of British and Irish History provides bibliographic data on historical writing dealing with the British Isles, and with the British Empire and Commonwealth, during all periods for which written documentation is available - from 55BC to the present.
Bibliography of English Women Writers 1500-1640 currently indexes the works of around 740 female writers and translators.
British History Online: Includes Calendars of State Papers, Domestic and the Calendars of State Papers for Scotland and Ireland, along with the Calendar of Close Rolls.
Burke's Peerage and Gentry: genealogy and heraldry information for the Peerage of the United Kingdom, the historical families of Ireland and the Commonwealth of Nations, and royal and distinguished families worldwide.
Early English Books Online - Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP): encoded electronic text editions of many early print books in Early English Books Online, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, and Evans Early American Imprints. (Now included in the ProQuest version of EEBO.)
Drama Online Core Collection for Arden Shakespeare edition access.
FirstSearch: OCLC Databases: Default database: WorldCat. Select the "Search in database" dropdown to select one of the following databases: ArticleFirst, ClasePeriodica, OCLC Ebooks, OCLC ECO, ERIC, GPO, MEDLINE, OAIster, PapersFirst, Proceedings, WorldAlmanac, WorldCat, WorldCatDissertations.
Iter Bibliography is a bibliography comprised of secondary source material pertaining to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700), including citations for books and journal material (articles, reviews, review articles, bibliographies, catalogues, abstracts and discographies), dissertation abstracts, and essays in books (including entries in conference proceedings, festschriften, encyclopedias and exhibition catalogues).
Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages & Renaissance brings together numerous database sources for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Some are subscription access only, while others are freely available.
Iter Italicum is a finding list for Renaissance humanistic manuscripts in libraries and collections all over the world.
Loeb Classical Library: Fourteen centuries of Greek and Latin literature with accurate, literate, English translations on facing pages. And a handy Greek keyboard pop-up.
John Milton: A Bibliography (MRTS Online Series) attempts to bring together all manuscripts and editions of John Milton's works and all studies and critical statements concerning his life and works, all allusions and quotations, and all significant imitations during the years 1624-1799.
Microfilms Database at the Folger Shakespeare Library provides an easy way to search the Folger's microfilm collection so that readers may have some form of access to restricted or fragile materials.
MLA International Bibliography provides citations to journal articles, books, dissertations, and scholarly websites, from 1921 to the present, in academic disciplines such as language, literature, folklore, linguistics, literary theory and criticism, and the dramatic arts.
The Newdigate newsletters, Numbers 1 through 2100 (13 January 1673/4 through 11 June 1692): thrice-weekly news releases issued by the Secretary of State's office, highlighting matters of interest to the Stuart court.
Shakespeare Quarterly (JSTOR): Back issues from 1950 through five years before the current issue.
Shakespeare Quarterly (Project Muse): Back issues for the most recent four years.
Understanding Shakespeare (Beta) connects Folger Digital Texts with peer-reviewed articles in JSTOR that cite specific plays, scenes, and lines in Shakespeare.
Women Writers Online: a full-text collection of early women’s writing in English which includes full transcriptions of texts published between 1526 and 1850, focusing on materials that are rare or inaccessible.
World Shakespeare Bibliography: indexes Shakespeare-related scholarship and theatrical productions published or produced worldwide since 1960.
Other Digital Resources
@FolgerLibrary is the main twitter account for the Folger.
@FolgerResearch covers the research and collections aspects of the Folger.
@FolgerED is the twitter account for the Folger's Education Department.
- Folger Institute Commons listserv
- Ficino--An interdisciplinary Renaissance listserv.
- H-Albion--The H-Net discussion network for British and Irish history.
- Shaksper--The global electronic Shakespeare conference.
- SHARP-L--The electronic conference for the history of print culture.
Folger web archives
Read the article on Web archiving for an overview of the Folger's online web presence management.