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. 

In the PHC Library catalog, you can search a variety of resources by title, author, keyword, or phrase, linking you to journal articles, ebooks, and print books in the on-campus collection. The more specific your search terms, the more specific the results will be.  For our Distance Learning (DL) students, excerpts from print items held in the on campus library can be provided on request.

If you are accessing electronic resources from off-campus and are required to log in, use your student portal user name and password to gain access. If you have difficulty with the website or accessing any resources, please let library staff know by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu or  library@phc.edu. 

Professional library assistance is 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 full descriptions and for appropriate ebooks.


  • 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

You can search journal articles by title, keyword, or author, or browse the following journals through the library's Periodical Listing.

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

Internet Resources


You can search for any of the following Library of Congress subject term tags by limiting the search by "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: Dr. Bonnie Libby/Thornhill, 2010, 2011. Last update: Thornhill, 2023.

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