Digital Bibliography and Global Shakespeare

Laura Estill
Texas A&M University

Laura Estill is Assistant Professor of English and editor of the World Shakespeare Bibliography (, Department of English, Texas A&M University, MS 4227, College Station, TX, USA 77845-4227. Email:

Abstract: Although there is currently “much ado about” global Shakespeare studies, this field has been thriving for decades – even centuries. This article outlines the role of the World Shakespeare Bibliography Online (WSB Online) in the past and future of global Shakespeare studies, exploring how digital scholarly practices, including open access periodicals and institutional repositories, are changing the bibliography’s workflow and presentation of materials. Ultimately, the digital nature of the World Shakespeare Bibliography further opens the door to global Shakespeare studies and participates in recovering early research in the field. The WSB is the result of global scholarly collaboration; it is itself an early global Shakespeare studies project that works to foster further scholarship in the field.

Keywords: World Shakespeare Bibliography; Bibliography; Open access; Knowledge dissemination; Workflow management; Collaboration

Résumé: Bien qu’il y ait “beaucoup de bruit” pour les études mondiales de Shakespeare, ce domaine fleurissait depuis les décennies – ou même des siècles. Cet article présent le rôle du World Shakespeare Bibliography (WSB) dans les études globales de Shakespeare, en explorant comment les champs numériques, y compris les périodiques en libre accès et les archives institutionelles en-ligne, changent le travail et la présentation de la WSB. Étant en-ligne, le World Shakespeare Bibliography s’ouvre davantage la porte aux études mondiales de Shakespeare et participe à la récupération des premières recherches dans le domaine. Le WSB est le résultat de la collaboration des académiques autour du monde; il est lui-même un des premiers projets des études mondiales de Shakespeare qui favorise la continuation du domaine.

Mots clés: World Shakespeare Bibliography; Bibliography; libre accès; partage des connaissances; gestion du flux de travail; collaboration

Everyone is familiar with the Bard of Avon, Σαίξπηρ. And though Robert Greene famously criticized Szekspir as an “upstart crow,” Шекспир is nevertheless often praised as the greatest writer of English literature. Shekspirit’s plays and poems are well-known: Ein Sommernachtstraum, Nit de Reis, Makbet, and of course, Amleto. Though Shakespeare originally wrote his plays in English, his works are now a global commodity.

2012 was the “Year of Shakespeare”: the World Shakespeare Festival featured prominently in the Cultural Olympiad that accompanied the 2012 London Olympics. Allied with the festival, Globe to Globe offered 37 Shakespeare plays in 37 languages. The Year of Shakespeare website documented performances of Shakespeare around the world, from The Merry Wives of Windsor in Nairobi, Kenya, to The Tempest in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to 3 Henry VI in Bitola, Macedonia. (For all websites, see list before the References.) The World Shakespeare Festival inspired reviews, scholarship, and broader engagement with Shakespeare’s works, including, notably, Shakespeare beyond English: A Global Experiment (Bennett & Carson, 2013), A Year of Shakespeare: Re-living the World Shakespeare Festival (Edmondson, Prescott, & Sullivan, 2013), as well as articles on individual performances such as “Translating the Bard” (Kaul, Pasha, & Pasha, 2012) and “From Messina to Delhi” (Muñoz Valdivieso, 2013).

Just two years later, 2014 is the Year of Shakespeare 450, the anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Blogging Shakespeare website launched the #HappyBirthdayShakespeare campaign. The Société française Shakespeare held a Shakespeare 450 conference in Paris; the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC offered exhibitions, performances, and lectures; the Shakespeare fesztivál in Gyula (Hungary) celebrated its 10th anniversary with the Bard’s 450th. And the Globe Theatre introduced “Hamlet Globe to Globe: A 2 year tour to every country in the world.”

Although there is currently “much ado about” global Shakespeare studies, this field has been thriving for decades – even centuries. Shakespeare Yearbook’s themed issues – such as Shakespeare in France (Klein & Maguin, 1995), Shakespeare and Hungary (Klein & Davidhazi, 1996), Shakespeare and Japan (Klein, Anzai, Iwasaki, & Milward, 1998) – began in the mid-1990s. The Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival (Poland), part of the European Shakespeare Festivals Network, began in 1993. In 1986, Samuel Leiter published Shakespeare around the Globe. But the histories are far deeper than that: Shakespeare’s plays toured through Australia in the early nineteenth century (Irvin, 1969); were part of the repertory of travelling players in eighteenth-century Finland (Aaltonen, 2003); and were performed in eighteenth-century Transylvania (Bartha, 2010). Perhaps surprisingly, the Deutsche Shakespeare-Gesellschaft is the oldest national Shakespeare society, founded in 1864 (Kennedy, 2001).

The advent of the Internet has made it easier to celebrate Shakespeare globally and study global Shakespeares. Comparatists can watch full performances at MIT Global Shakespeares, the Asian Shakespeare Intercultural Archive, or even on YouTube (O’Neill, 2014). Open access online journals, such as Global Shakespeare and Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation, welcome research on Shakespearean appropriations from all cultures and make their articles and content findable to anyone with an Internet connection.1 Listservs, such as SHAKSPER: The Global Electronic Shakespeare Conference, encourage discussion between scholars at a distance and circulate calls for papers, event announcements, and ideas across national borders.

This article outlines the role of the World Shakespeare Bibliography Online (WSB Online) in the past and future of global Shakespeare studies. I start by charting the bibliography’s international mandate and history, before turning to the translation and transliteration by our team of worldwide correspondents who facilitate international and comparative research. I show how digital scholarly practices, including open access periodicals and institutional repositories, are changing the bibliography’s workflow and presentation of materials. As this article demonstrates, the digital nature of the World Shakespeare Bibliography itself further opens the door to global Shakespeare studies and participates in recovering early research in the field.

The World Shakespeare Bibliography Online

The WSB’s website explains its scope and coverage:

[T]he World Shakespeare Bibliography Online provides annotated entries for all important books, articles, book reviews, dissertations, theatrical productions, reviews of productions, audiovisual materials, electronic media, and other scholarly and popular materials related to Shakespeare and published or produced between 1960 and 2014. The scope is international, with coverage extending to more than 120 languages and representing every country in North America, South America, and Europe and nearly every country in Asia, Africa, and Australasia. The more than 137,740 records in this version cite several hundred thousand additional reviews of books, productions, films, and audio recordings. (WSB, Introduction, para. 1)

The WSB is updated quarterly: it will continue to extend coverage in future years and expand the number of annotated entries every update. All information about the bibliography in this article is taken from update 20142 (April 2014).

Since the bibliography’s inception, its mandate has been multilingual and global. The WSB began as a single article by Sidney Thomas (1950) in the inaugural Shakespeare Quarterly and listed 333 publications from 1949.2 Thomas acknowledged the collaboration of 10 international scholars, included a section on “Collections, Editions, and Translations,” and indexed more than two dozen non-English articles and books about Shakespeare. Some of the English-language articles listed considered Shakespeare from a global perspective, such as Julius Bab’s “Shakespeare in Amerika” and I. Moutafchiev’s “Shakespeare and Bulgaria” (Thomas, 1950, entries 53, 229). By 1965, the bibliography had swelled to an entire issue of Shakespeare Quarterly and comprised hundreds of pages rather than hundreds of entries (Dent, 1965). The final print volume of the World Shakespeare Bibliography was published in 2001; at 374 pages, containing 4,705 entries and cross-references, it was almost larger than all of the year’s preceding Shakespeare Quarterly issues combined (Harner, 2001).

The move to digital was an exciting leap for the WSB. The first CD-ROM was released in 1996 and covered four whole years of scholarship (Harner, 1996). Previously, scholars interested in a particular topic (for instance, the stage history of actor Ira Aldridge) would have to search through a growing pile of print bibliographies for each year – and that assumes they had a continuous run of Shakespeare Quarterly at their institution. The World Shakespeare Bibliography moved online more than a decade ago, in 2001, which enabled subscribers to search all entries at once. The bibliography no longer has print or CD-ROM components and is entirely on the Web.

As an online resource, the World Shakespeare Bibliography is now able to update information for past years in a way that makes it easier for researchers to navigate. Where the print WSB issues ostensibly focused on a single year, they inevitably ended up including entries that had been missed in previous years. This means that even if a researcher knew the year and subject of an article, he or she might have to check multiple print volumes in order to find the annotation. Now researchers can limit their searches by date ranges and all of the relevant material will be available. Furthermore, now that the WSB is digital, we add value to existing entries by creating cross-references to already-published entries and noting reviews of productions or books that appear well after the initial publication or performance. “There is no such thing as a complete bibliography” is a truism; yet digital bibliographies such as the WSB allow us to expand previously collected material and make it possible to get closer to the ideal of a complete and perfect bibliography. Though online searching is now commonplace, the digital medium (Web-based, updatable) and software (search algorithms, interface) revolutionized the WSB, and, indeed, all digital bibliographies, in ways that are sometimes taken for granted.

Translation and transliteration

Although the WSB’s international mandate has not drastically changed since its inception, the move to digital altered not only the way users interact with the bibliography but also the bibliography’s workflow and de facto coverage. While the early printed WSB included content in multiple languages, it was not fully annotated, nor were titles translated. Some entries offered brief annotations of content, but other items listed provided some scholars no clue as to their usefulness in research: “Shakespeare an Ruhr und Rhein,” “Saper, Sachespar, Shakespeare ovvero l’interpretazione di Shakespeare in Italia dal Settecento al Novecento,” and “Cinna, Macbeth, Le Prince de Hombourg: Le T.N.P. a [sic] Rouen et en Avignon” are a few of the foreign-language titles left untranslated and unannotated in the bibliography for 1955 (Jorgensen, 1956, entries 256, 338, 508). Although the study of Shakespeare and comparative literature and Shakespeare in different cultures requires multiple-language competency, it would be impossible for scholars to be fluent in the more than 120 languages currently indexed in the WSB. Today, the World Shakespeare Bibliography Online contributes to global Shakespeare studies by transliterating and translating titles and offering annotations of scholarship in English.

Multilingual contributions to Shakespeare studies are important to the field: each new translation, new article, and new production brings fresh perspectives to Shakespeare’s work. However, as exciting as adaptations of and scholarship on Shakespeare in multiple languages are, if they are not findable, then they will get little recognition from the larger Shakespearean community. This is where the WSB comes in: it makes this myriad research searchable in the lingua franca of Shakespeare studies, English. Shakespeare studies, including research on translations and adaptations, are rooted in English. So, while the WSB opens the doors to multilingual research, it currently opens those doors only to researchers who are able to navigate the English search interface.

The WSB transliterates titles from languages that have different alphabets than English, such as Arabic, Japanese, Russian, and Urdu. While transliteration itself offers challenges and changing standards (is it Constantin Stanislavski or Konstantin Stanislavsky?), a transliterated title such as Dirasat fi al-Masrah wa al-Adab is at least recognizable to English readers, if not understandable. The transliterated titles display on all computers, whereas other alphabets require different character sets that often have to be downloaded and installed to display. In this case, the WSB-provided translation, Studies in Theater and Literature, offers a further hint to this monograph’s contents but is not that helpful. It is the annotation (and placement in the bibliography’s taxonomy) that will help scholars determine whether this work could be relevant to their research: “includes two chapters on Shakespeare: ‘Fidra wa Makbith: Batalan min Abtal al-Trajidiyya [Phedre and Macbeth: Two Tragic Heroes]’ (20-28) and ‘al-Amir Hamlit [Prince Hamlet]’ (29-40).” And while currently not all foreign-language titles are translated (but many are), all are transliterated, which gives users the ability to find a translation of the title by simply cutting and pasting into an online translator.

The WSB indexes monographs and articles about Shakespeare as well as productions. (Note that the WSB does not index school productions at any level.) The advanced search function allows users to find details on productions in all languages indexed. For example, from 1960 to 2013, the bibliography currently gives information about 433 productions in French, 234 in Spanish, and 30 in Catalan. The productions are listed with director, venue, and, perhaps most valuably, sources where interested researchers can find reviews and articles about the productions. With increasing numbers of theatres keeping websites with performance records, the WSB can more easily find productions and now links out to those websites for performance information. By virtue of its international scope, the World Shakespeare Bibliography allows for comparative research that would be otherwise challenging, with regards to new translations and adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, scholarship, and performance histories.

The World Shakespeare Bibliography is able to index and annotate global and multilingual content because of its team of international correspondents.3 Correspondents find materials for inclusion and annotate entries in languages that the editorial team (headquartered at Texas A&M University) would otherwise not be able to process. WSB correspondents support the bibliography out of academic generosity and the desire to make research in different languages and from different regions available to a broader scholarly community. Although the bibliography strives for coverage in all geographic and linguistic areas, there can be a delay in indexing foreign-language materials despite the wealth of digital resources (discussed below) that have changed the way materials for inclusion are found.

Digital scholarly practices and global Shakespeare

The turn to the digital has not only altered how the World Shakespeare Bibliography presents information (with increased searchability); it has also changed the WSB’s workflow. Open access journals and institutional repositories have been particularly instrumental in this change.

Shakespeare studies is a capacious interdisciplinary field in itself, extending beyond theatre, literature, and history. The World Shakespeare Bibliography has always tracked journals specifically devoted to Shakespeare studies (such as Shakespeare Quarterly and Shakespeare Bulletin); those that have a high probability of including Shakespearean content (such as English Literary Renaissance, Renaissance Drama, and Early Theatre); and even those that only occasionally publish articles of interest (such as Digital Humanities Quarterly and The Hemingway Review). Articles, however, appear in even the least-expected venues, such as the British Medical Journal (Dalrymple, 2012), Current Archaeology (Catling, 2012), and Business Strategy Series (Etzold, 2012). Scholars not only read Shakespeare’s plays, they read through Shakespeare to cast light on different fields from philosophy, law, and economics to logic, visual arts, and theology.

Historically, many institutional journals or society publications would have small circulations, often to a particular regional or national area. Now, many of these journals are available online in open access formats. For instance, the Société française Shakespeare publishes its journal proceedings online, meaning they can reach a broader audience than their membership. After over a decade in print, Memoria di Shakespeare: A Journal of Shakespearean Studies moved to online publication in 2014. Although the World Shakespeare Bibliography has enjoyed strong French and Italian correspondents for years, the move to online journals means that areas and languages that have been under-represented in the WSB can be augmented: digital publication increases the diverse nature of WSB content. Increasing digital publication, however, still requires the participation of an expanding base of international contributors to undertake the summaries that appear in the bibliography. Even when journals simply publish their tables of contents online, it alerts international scholars to the topics of publications that would otherwise circulate only locally, such as the Kungl. Humanistiska Vetenskaps-Samfundet i Uppsala Årsbok (Sweden), an annual publication that periodically includes essays on Shakespeare. Open access journals also make English-language material published in foreign countries more accessible: for example, both k@ta: a biannual publication on the study of language and literature (published by Petra Christian University in Surabaya, Indonesia) and Estudios Ingleses de la Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain, include occasional articles on Shakespeare. Where smaller institutional publications and regional society publications might not have been previously available to the WSB team, open access publication helps the WSB locate and annotate materials for inclusion.

With an increasing number of open access journals, the bibliography is also able to provide direct links to journals and articles to assist researchers. Many of the articles that the WSB cites are in paywalled journals, and at the moment, providing links through each subscriber’s library proxy is not possible. Although including links to open access journals and materials can be an asset, it also means the WSB now contends with the potential instability of Web addresses. When they do not use DOIs (digital object identifiers), journals might change their file-paths or URLs, making the links that appear in the WSB obsolete. The WSB currently does not check previous links, but relies on users to point out broken links. To minimize link rot, the WSB often links to an open access journal’s homepage rather than each individual article.

Being online itself, the World Shakespeare Bibliography keeps an updated “publications not yet located” list that did not feature in earlier print versions. Unlike some bibliographies, the WSB does not index material unless it has been seen by a correspondent or member of the editorial team. This (ever-growing) list of “publications not yet located” includes materials that the editorial team has seen cited but cannot trace and materials that are not available through interlibrary loans, despite the heroic efforts of the library staff at Texas A&M University. The online list of “publications not yet located” encourages further international collaboration beyond our team of global correspondents. This list also helps the bibliography find and index material that would not otherwise be included.

The growing move to indexing scholarly work in institutional repositories has also increased its findability for the WSB, especially with regards to non-English scholarship. Many universities, as a matter of course, send the material uploaded into their institutional repositories to WorldCat. Even if dissertations are embargoed online (that is, they are not available to download freely), the WSB editorial staff can find the record and request a physical or digital copy if they are catalogued in an institutional repository. The WSB has always relied on Dissertation Abstracts International (published online as ProQuest Dissertations), which, despite its title, is not as international as it could be. A quick search for “Shakespeare” in doctoral dissertation abstracts from the past five years yields 531 English results and one result each in Chinese, French, and Spanish. These figures certainly reflect the English-language dominance in Shakespeare studies (and the results from searching a particular spelling of Shakespeare’s name). ProQuest Dissertations, however, is not comprehensive: it misses, for instance, Rodrigo Augusto Suzuki Dias Cintra’s Uma dimensão trágica do poder e da justiça: Shakespeare e Maquiavel [A tragic dimension of power and justice: Shakespeare and Machiavelli] (2011), which is listed in the WSB.4 The WSB was able to include Cintra’s dissertation because it is listed in his institutional repository and indexed in WorldCat: visitors to the institutional repository can access his abstracts (in Portuguese, English, and Italian), introduction, and works cited. The increasing use of institutional repositories for dissertations and information about dissertations allows the World Shakespeare Bibliography to better represent the cutting edge of global Shakespeares: the work by doctoral candidates from around the world.

Institutional repositories not only make it possible for the bibliography to include more dissertations in languages beyond English, they also help the bibliography index previously missed material that is newly uploaded and made visible by digital means. In one case, Makoto Furusho worked on Shakespeare and linguistics for 20 years, publishing more than 20 articles (see, for example, Furusho, 1990). Until Furusho’s work appeared on the Gakushuin University institutional repository (GLIM IR), the WSB had not found it, though materials related to Shakespeare date from 1990. Institutional repositories help the WSB improve its coverage of non-English materials in particular.

The move to open access journals, increasing use of institutional repositories, and digitization of existing journals means that the number of entries in the World Shakespeare Bibliography for past years can only increase: and it is in international and non-English scholarship where we are likely to see the most increase. For instance, the long-standing Revue Belge de Philologie et d’Histoire has digitized all of its back issues, which has allowed the WSB to include previously overlooked material. The increasing numbers of articles, books, and productions from past years shows how the turn to digital is changing not just the WSB’s workflow and usability, but also the WSB’s content itself.

The digital turn makes it possible to better document the past of global Shakespeare studies and also to chart its future. One new journal that regularly features Shakespearean content, The Hare: An Online Journal of Brief Essays and Untimely Reviews in Renaissance Literature (founded in 2012), launched with the question “Another journal?” (Lopez & Menzer, 2012). Editors Jeremy Lopez and Paul Menzer started to answer this question with a provocative statement: “There is no need for this journal”—but, as they continued, “The Hare seeks to bend the horizon of possibilities for what kinds of writing we use to engage our discipline and what kinds of materials we deem appropriate for our consideration.” The Global Shakespeare Journal, which began in 2014, celebrates the “endless interpretations, appropriations, and reinventions” that Shakespeare’s works invite and “aims at becoming a permanent of global communication among Shakespeare scholars of all ages, from all continents, bridging the gap between the West and the East, among scholars working in various socio-political contexts throughout the world.” And not all open access periodicals are journals. There are also new online-only magazines such as Shakespeare Magazine (tagline: At last! A magazine with all the Will in the world), whose inaugural issue was released on April 23, 2014, to coincide with the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. Internationally, Shakespearetheatre Diever (Netherlands) released the first annual issue of William. Magazine voor Shakespeare liefhebbers [William: Magazine for Shakespeare lovers] in 2013, available online. Every day, works about Shakespeare are published in multiple languages. These new online periodicals contribute to the rising number of publications on Shakespeare and can help map future directions for research.

Online periodicals are, of course, only one part of global Shakespeare on the Web. There are countless websites devoted to Shakespeare or that include Shakespearean content. As of July 2014, a Google search for “Shakespeare” yields 34 million results, far more than even the most rigorous scholar could check. The WSB selectively indexes websites, and then includes only websites devoted entirely to Shakespeare studies. Even sites likely of interest to Shakespearean scholars, such as the Database of Early English Playbooks or the Lost Plays Database, are excluded because their scope extends beyond Shakespeare. We do not index blogs, though some, such as Shakespeare in Ireland: An Academic Blog of Early Modern Events and Research in Ireland, could be considered scholarly and useful. Global Shakespeare sites that are indexed in the WSB include the Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project and An International Database of Shakespeare on Film, Television and Radio. But even well-established sites can change: Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet shut down in 2014: now visitors to the site see only the message that “Mr. William Shakespeare has retired.” In the digital age, the role of the World Shakespeare Bibliography is not just finding, annotating, and indexing something once: it is monitoring the landscape of Shakespeare on the Internet.

Indeed, online publication forces us to question what it means to be a publication. Since 2010, the Folger Shakespeare Library has made its Shakespeare Birthday lecture series available online both in transcript and as a podcast; it also has a digital image collection and offers downloadable materials for educators. The Shakespeare Association of American has started making current and past presidential addresses available online. The Royal Shakespeare Company (London and Stratford-upon-Avon) and the Stratford Festival (Stratford, Canada), like many other production companies and theatres, have robust websites with teaching guides, programs, and production stills. Currently, however, these are all outside the purview of the bibliography for indexing as a whole, though the WSB does, as discussed above, link to production company websites. Digital publication has encouraged the bibliography to reconsider and strengthen its existing inclusion and exclusion policies.


According to WSB records, there is now roughly three times as much published on each of Shakespeare’s plays now than there was 50 years ago.5 The abundance of writing about Shakespeare is both a blessing and a curse: it is the bounty of a field that is abuzz with interesting ideas, and it is the price of having so much material to read and master. As Ann Blair (2010) elegantly explains, even before the digital era, scholars were overwhelmed with information. Thousands of years ago, Seneca complained, “[T]he abundance of books is distraction” (“Distringit librorum multitudo,” trans. Blair, 2010, p. 15). Having “too much to know” is exacerbated when your research interests focus on a canonical author, such as Shakespeare.

With the ever-expanding amount of Shakespearean scholarship, the World Shakespeare Bibliography becomes increasingly critical as to how scholars conduct research. At the start of the twenty-first century, the average Shakespeare play has 38 books and articles written about it per year. With roughly three dozen plays in the canon, not to mention books and articles on general topics not yoked to a specific play or poem, or on apocrypha, lost texts, Shakespeare’s life, or early modern culture writ large, Shakespeareans have a lot to keep up with.6 The WSB not only makes research findable across languages and often across fields (since the WSB catalogues work on Shakespeare from all disciplines and includes many works that are not indexed in, say, the MLA International Bibliography), it also provides annotations of the research, which help scholars determine what sources they need to find. What the WSB does not do is guarantee the scholarship or vet the articles it catalogues: its mandate is not one of peer review. Scholars today could not possibly read all publications about Shakespeare’s work: with its annotations, the WSB helps scholars sift through hundreds of thousands of potentially relevant monographs, articles, and websites. The World Shakespeare Bibliography helps connect scholars to the texts they research and connects texts to each other with cross-references and reviews. Ultimately, the WSB connects scholars in a worldwide network that works to advance multilingual and diverse research. The World Shakespeare Bibliography is the result of global scholarly collaboration; it is itself an early global Shakespeare studies project that works to foster further scholarship in the field.


This article stems from work undertaken for the 2014 Implementing New Knowledge Environments conference, Building Partnerships to Transform Scholarly Publishing, and a Shakespeare Association of America seminar, “Theorizing the Digital Archive,” led by Valerie Fazel and Louise Geddes (also held in 2014). I would like to thank participants in both events for their valuable feedback. Thanks also to Jim Harner, Krista May, Liz Grumbach, and Kailin Wright.


  1. The disparity of access to Internet and paywalled online resources is a major problem in education beyond the scope of this article. For more on open access Shakespeare journals, see Collins, 2014.
  2. For a list of the World Shakespeare Bibliography’s past editors, see .
  3. For a list of past and current international correspondents, see . Scholars interested in becoming correspondents should contact us at
  4. Note that the WSB only indexes doctoral dissertations, not master’s or undergraduate theses or projects.
  5. This figure compares WSB entries from 1960 to 2010. For an analysis of the hard data in the World Shakespeare Bibliography, see “Spare your arithmetic, never count the turns”: A Statistical Analysis of Writing about Shakespeare, 1960–2010,” co-authored with Dominic Klyve and Kate Bridal, forthcoming in Shakespeare Quarterly. Note that this is a conservative estimate of the growth in the field: as Mark Beaurline points out, “[I]n some twenty years [between 1956 and 1980], then, scholarly output increased nearly sixfold in one area of the humanities” (2008, p. 34).
  6. In the five-year period from 2000 to 2004, there were 38.4 books and articles per year published about Titus Andronicus, which was ranked 17th of Shakespeare’s plays. For comparison, Hamlet, the most written-about play, received attention in 319.4 books and articles in the same time period. This does not count brief mentions and includes only works primarily focused on these texts. With the 450th anniversary, we at the WSB are already seeing an increase in publications.

Websites and open access periodicals


Aaltonen, S. (2003). Shakespearen merkitys suomalaisessa kulttuurissa [The significance of Shakespeare in Finnish culture]. In P. Lilius & H. Makkonen-Craig (Eds.), Nerontuotteita maailmalta: Näkökulmia suomennosten historian [Nero around the World: Historical Perspectives on Finnish Translation] (pp. 99-125). Helsinki: Monikielisen ammattiviestinnän opintokokonaisuus (MonAKO).

Bartha, K.Á. (2010). Shakespeare Erdélyben (XIX. századi magyar nyelvu recepció) [Shakespeare in Transylvania: Nineteenth-century Hungarian-speaking reception]. Budapest: Argumentum.

Beaurline, M. (2008). The future of humanities labor. Academe, 94(5), 34-38.

Bennett, S., & Carson, C. (2013). Shakespeare beyond English: A global experiment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Blair, A. (2010). Too much to know: Managing scholarly information before the modern age. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Catling, C. (2012). The play’s the thing: Archaeology and politics in Shakespeare’s day. Current Archaeology, 23(5), 14-21.

Cintra, R.A.S.D. (2011). Uma dimensão trágica do poder e da justiça: Shakespeare e Maquiavel [A tragic dimension of power and justice: Shakespeare and Machiavelli]. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil. URL: [July 22, 2014].

Collins, E. (2014). Unlocking scholarship in Shakespeare studies: Gatekeeping, guardianship, and open-access journal publication. In C. Carson & P. Kirwan (Eds.), Shakespeare and the digital world (pp. 132–143). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dalrymple, T. (2012). The medical in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. British Medical Journal, 345, e7509. URL: [July 22, 2014].

Dent, R.W. (Ed.). (1965). Shakespeare: An annotated bibliography for 1964. Shakespeare Quarterly, 16(3), 1-222.

Edmondson, P., Prescott, P., & Sullivan, E. (2013). A year of Shakespeare: Re-living the World Shakespeare Festival. London: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare.

Estill, L., Klyve, D., & Bridal, K. (in press). “Spare your arithmetic, never count the turns”: A statistical analysis of writing about Shakespeare, 1960–2010. Shakespeare Quarterly.

Etzold, V. (2012). Power plays: What Shakespeare can teach on leadership. Business Strategy Series, 13(2), 63-69.

Furusho, M. (1990). 初期近代英語における迀言的 do の発達に関する一考察 : Shakespeare におけるデータを中心として [A historical study of periphrastic do in the Early Modern English, with special reference to Shakespeare]. URL: [July 22, 2014].

Harner, J.L. (Ed.). (1996). The World Shakespeare Bibliography on CD-ROM: 1990-1993. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Harner, J.L. (Ed.). (2001). World Shakespeare Bibliography 2000. Shakespeare Quarterly, 52(5), 552–926.

Irvin, E. (1969). Shakespeare in the early Sydney theatre. Shakespeare Survey, 22, 125-313.

Jorgensen, P.A. (Ed.). Shakespeare: An annotated bibliography for 1955. Shakespeare Quarterly, 7(2), 291-349.

Kaul, A., Pasha, M., & Pasha, Z. (2012). Translating the Bard. Linguist, 51(2), 18-19.

Kennedy, D. (2001). Shakespeare worldwide. In M. De Grazia & S. Wells (Eds.), The Cambridge companion to Shakespeare (pp. 251-264). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Klein, H., Anzai, T., Iwasaki, S., & Milward, P. (1998) Shakespeare and Japan. Shakespeare Yearbook, 9.

Klein, H., & Dávidházi, P. (1996). Shakespeare and Hungary. Shakespeare Yearbook, 7.

Klein, H., & Maguin, J.-M. (1995). Shakespeare and France. Shakespeare Yearbook, 5.

Leiter, S. (1986). Shakespeare around the Globe: A guide to notable postwar revivals. New York, NY: Greenwood.

Lopez, J., & Menzer, P. Another journal? The Hare, 1. URL: [July 22, 2014].

Muñoz Valdivieso, S. (2013). From Messina to Delhi: Much ado about staging global Shakespeares in Olympic times. SEDERI: Journal of the Spanish Society of English Renaissance Studies, 23, 57-78.

O’Neill, S. (2014). Shakespeare and YouTube: New media forms of the Bard. London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.

Thomas, S. (Ed.). (1950). Shakespeare: An annotated bibliography for 1949. Shakespeare Quarterly, 1(2), 97-120.

CCSP Press
Scholarly and Research Communication
Volume 5, Issue 4, Article ID 0401187, 13 pages
Journal URL:
Received August 1, 2014, Accepted August 25, 2014, Published December 16, 2014

Estill, Laura. (2014). Digital Bibliography and Global Shakespeare. Scholarly and Research Communication, 5(4): 0401187, 13 pp.

© 2014 Laura Estill. This Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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