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Welcome to the Research Guide for your course on Shakespeare

Library Home

Welcome to the fascinating world of Shakepeare! 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 out the location and availability of an item in the on-campus collection through the online catalog, Voyager, accessed here or through 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:

  • Shakespeare: the invention of the human - PR 2989 .B58 1998
  • Shakespeare: a brief insight - PR 2894 .G75 2010
  • Shakespeare's dramatic genres - PR 2995 .D36 2000
  • Shakespeare's Christian dimension: an anthology of commentary - PR 3011 .S48 1994
  • Brightest heaven of invention: a Christian guide to six Shakespeare plays - PR 2976 .L45 1996

Please see the PHC 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- 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 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

Internet Resources

Research Tips

  • Search by subject: Once you have located one item in the catalog, you may click on the subject 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.
  • Interlibrary loan (ILL): If you are unable to locate an item in the PHC online or on-campus collection, you may request resources through Interlibrary loan. ILL requests may be made directly into the library database WorldCat. If you have difficulty requesting an ILL in WorldCat, please 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.

Citation assistance needed? Try OWL (Online Writing Lab).

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

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