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Top Five Ways to Read and Watch Shakespeare Online with Your New York Public Library Card

The New York Public Library provides more than 500 online research options, many accessible from home with a library card. We challenge you to go beyond the search engine and dig deeper online with NYPL. 

Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library. "Lobby card for Federal Theatre Project production of Macbeth" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1937. Image ID: 57019218

1. Digital Theatre Plus

 inspired by Shakespeare's Othello
British Council production of "Dear Mr. Shakespeare: Inspired by Shakespeare's Othello" (2016). Available on  the Digital Theatre Plus database.

Digital Theatre Plus is a database full of live theatrical performances and more, all from the birthplace of the Bard. Watch adaptations of Shakespeare's most famous plays, such as Dear Mr. Shakespeare: Inspired by Shakespeare's Othello , watch commentaries on his plays by esteemed actors like Jeremy Irons, or even watch a manga version of Richard III!

2. Oxford Scholarly Editions Online

Image result for new oxford shakespeare
The New Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works avaialble through the Oxford Scholarly Editions Online database.

Oxford Scholarly Editions Online is available from home with your New York Public Library Card. So, sit in front of the fire place in your pajamas with some close friends and read aloud from The Complete Works, or learn more about your favorite Shakespeare work with The Critical Reference Edition. You can even read the scholarship on who actually authored many of Shakespeare's plays with The Authorship Companion. 

3. Shakespeare, Editions and Adaptations

King Lear
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. "Title page" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1608. Image ID: 1820149

The Shakespeare, Editions and Adaptations database includes twenty-four separate printings of everything from individual plays to adaptations, and even burlesques from the 17th to 19th centuries. Also, explore the eleven major editions from the First Folio of 1623.

4. World Shakespeare Bibliography

Richard III
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. "The play-house habit of King Richard III. Habit de theatre du roi Richard III." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1757 - 1772. Image ID: 1638240

Whether you are an advanced Shakespearean scholar, an actor preparing for a role, a high school student researching a paper, or just obsessed with the author controversy (like many of us), the World Shakespeare Bibliography database is the place to get you started. You will find over 120, 000 records, from 1960 to the present covering international scholarship,  information about digital projects, reviews, productions, and even audio recordings.

5. Early English Books Online

All for love, or, The world well lost , John Dryden, 1692. Available through the Early Enligsh Books Online database.

If you are interested in the works and life of William Shakespeare, then you might be interested in his contemporaries and even his imitators. In the Early English Books Online database, you can access plays and other English works written during the time Shakespeare was his most prolific.  


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Digital Theatre Plus

This database is not available from home.

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