<) not found.[endif]--> Appl
Home > Library > Shakespeare

Shakespeare Research Guide

Welcome to the Research Guide for your course on Shakespeare.  The suggested databases are available linked from here and from the Electronic Resources section of the library home page.  Print resources are available in the PHC on-campus collection or by mail to distance learning members of the PHC community.  You may check out the location and availability of an item in the on-campus collection through the online catalog, Voyager, accessed here and through the library home page.

Professional library assistance is available on campus, by phone at 540-441-8400, or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu .


In the PHC Collection


  • Plays and poetry by Shakespeare and books about him and his work can be found in the section PR 2900 - PR 3000.
  • In the video collection, DVD's of Shakespeare's plays are available, including Branaugh's Henry V and several versions of Hamlet, including the Mel Gibson and Sir Laurence Olivier versions.
  • Oxford English Dictionary is the definitive resource on the English language, its current use and evolution over the last millinneum.
  • Oxford Companion to Shakespeare - Ref PR 2892 .O94 2001
  • Oxford Encyclopedia of British literature - Ref PR 19 .O95 2006, vol. 6
  • Oxford Companion to English literature - PHC collection at Ref PR 19 .O94 2000

  Please see the catalog for details.




eBooks provide immediate access to thousands of full text books by and about Shakespeare that can be viewed immediately on your computer.  Books containing historical background and context, as well as literary criticsm are available here.

Literary Reference Center  is an extensive, full text reference database with information combined from literary reference works, journals, and books.  A search here is sure to bring results on any of a variety of literary topics.  Please access this database through the Electronic Resources / Literature Research section from the library home page. 

MLA Bibliography  is an excellent resource for researching literature and language topics, including literary criticism. The site provides indexes, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies.  Please access this database through the Electronic Resources / Literature Research section from the library home page. 

Academic Search Premiere accesses a wealth of information including not only literature, but historical background, genre, and political influences of the works and on the works.


Selected Journals


Shakespeare Quarterly (Print: 2001-present, online 1950-present)

Shakespeare Studies (Online 1975-present)


Internet Resources


British Library Shakespeare in Quarto provide digital images of these single play editions giving insights into the original works.  Did you know that King Lear was titled, not as a drama or tragedy, but as a "true chronicle of historie" or the 1603 quarto version reads the line from Hamlet as, "To be or not to be, I, there is the point."

Royal Shakepeare Company provides background information on his life, political developments, contemporaries, influences, as well as, video clips of various productions, such as Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.

Archive.org provides access to online scholarly works, such as Queen Elizabeth and her times: a series of unedited personal correspondence, Elizabethan Playhouse, and Government Regulation of Elizabethan Drama.

Palomar is a vast portal to information - quite a bit of everything: literary criticism, source materials, Biblical references, Elizabethan costuming, reviews of performances, and more.  Palomar also links to scholarly discussions of intent and thematic design.


Subject Searches

Search the catalog using the following Library of Congress subject headings:

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 

Poets, English

English drama--Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600--History and criticism. 

Research Tips


  • Search by subject: Once you have located one item in the catalog, you may click on the search term within the record to find other items on the same or similar subjects.
  • Once you locate an appropriate resource, potential valuable resources may be listed in the item's bibliography.
  • If you are unable to locate an item in the PHC online or on-campus collection, you may request resources through Interlibrary loan (ILL).  ILL requests may be made directly into the library database WorldCat.  If you have difficulty requesting an ILL in WorldCat, you may use the form on the website or request assistance from any of the library staff.
  • Zotero is a citation management system that will help you collect and organize your resources and then seamlessly create footnotes, endnotes, in-text citations, and bibliographies.  You can download and watch online tutorials, but you may benefit from a librarian’s help in quickly learning how to use Zotero.

Check with the professor for the preferred citation style.  Information on proper Turabian citation is available in the PHC collection and online at OWL (Online Writing Lab)


Created: Gladden, 2008.  Revised: Dr. Bonnie Libby/Thornhill, 2010, 2011. Updated: Thornhill, 2013, 2014.