The Shakespeare Quartos Archive

Project Description:

The Shakespeare Quartos Archive was a two-part, JISC-NEH funded project that ran from 2008 to 2009. The first part involved six partner libraries contributing digital facsimiles of their pre-1642 quarto editions of William Shakespeare's plays to the British Library's Shakespeare in Quarto site. Shakespeare in Quarto now holds freely-accessible, high-resolution digital facsimiles of the 75 pre-1642 quarto editions.

The second part of the project produced a prototype interactive interface and toolset for the detailed study of the quartos, with full functionality applied to one play, the 32 copies of the 5 pre-1642 editions of *Hamlet* held at participating institutions. It includes complete image sets and digital editions of all 32 copies, and includes details of annotations, marginalia and bindings.

Content for this multi-institutional project was provided by the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford, the British Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Huntington Library, and the National Library of Scotland.

Text transcription and encoding was undertaken by staff of the Oxford Digital Library (ODL, now part of Bodleian Digital Libraries Systems and Services) of the University of Oxford. The editorial guidelines were created by staff at the ODL, following advice from an Advisory Forum of stakeholders from theatres, universities and libraries. Details of the Advisory Forum, its membership and conclusions are on the project website.

Programming and prototype design was undertaken by staff of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) of the University of Maryland. The Bodleian Libraries, the Shakespeare Institute of the University of Birmingham, and the Teaching Shakespeare Institute of the Folger Shakespeare Library were consulted by MITH in their development of the interface. A professionally facilitated evaluation was undertaken by the British Library.

The TEI-compliant, XML-encoded digital editions, the software created for the project, and the images are all available through the website for download and reuse, under a Creative Commons BY NC SA license.