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Welcome to the Research Guide for your course on Shakespeare

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Welcome to the fascinating world of Shakespeare! Studies of Shakespeare can be approached as literary criticism, history, and theater among others and a plethora of sources are available to the avid researcher. The suggested electronic resources 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 the location and the availability of an item in our collection through the online catalog, accessible from the library home page.

Professional librarians are available on campus, by phone at 540-441-8400, or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu.

On-Campus Collection

  • Plays and poetry by Shakespeare and books about him and his work can be found in the section PR 2900 - PR 3000.
  • DVD's of all of Shakespeare's plays performed by the British Broadcasting  Company are available in the PHC collection. Additionally, the library holds copies of Branagh's Henry V and several versions of Hamlet, including the Mel Gibson and Sir Laurence Olivier versions at Video 111-133.
  • Audio of many Shakespeare's plays are available in the PHC collection at Audio PR 2800 - 2900.
  • 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 -  Ref PR 19 .O94 2000
  • Shakespeare: An Oxford Guide - PR 2976 .S333 2003

Additionally, students taking the course have recommended the following:

Please see the PHC catalog for details.


  • 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.
  • Academic Search Premier 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

Locate online access to these journals through the library's Periodical Listing.

  • Shakespeare Quarterly (Print: 2001-present, online 1950-present)
  • Shakespeare Studies (Online 1975-present)

Internet Resources


Search the catalog using an Advanced Search for the any of the following strings as a "subject":

  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Biography.
  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Religion and ethics.
  • English drama--Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600--History and criticism.

Research Tips

  • Citation help needed? Try OWL (Online Writing Lab) for Chicago/TurabianMLA, and APA styling formats. 
  • Search by subject: Once you have located one item in the catalog, you can click on the search term within the record to find other items on the same or similar subjects. Once you have located a helpful source, additional potential sources may be found in the item's bibliography.
  • Can't find what you need in the PHC collection? If you are unable to locate an item in the PHC collection, you may request resources through Interlibrary loan. ILL requests may be made directly in the library catalog.
  • Research assistance is available in the library or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu

Created: Gladden, 2008. Revised: Dr. Bonnie Libby/Thornhill, 2010, 2011. Updated: Thornhill, 2012, 2014. Updated Thornhill/Wier, 2016, 2017, 2019.

Patrick Henry College Library

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