Macbeth Goes Digital: Folger Shakespeare Library Launches Digital Texts

Folger Shakespeare Library announces the release of its new Digital Texts, a free, online resource that offers twelve of Shakespeare’s most popular plays from Folger Editions.

Try Folger Digital Texts.

From the Folger press release:

Folger Digital Texts offers meticulously edited, accurate texts—drawn from the Folger Editions, the leading Shakespeare texts used in American classrooms—in a beautifully readable format with the added power of in-depth, behind-the-scenes coding. The texts—including full source code—is a free, online resource for students and teachers, theatergoers, scholars, and others.

The first Folger Digital Texts include a dozen of Shakespeare’s best known plays, including HamletMacbethA Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Tempest. Throughout 2013, we will be adding to Folger Digital Texts until it includes all of Shakespeare’s plays as well as his poems.

Read, Search, and Enjoy
Users can read the plays online, download PDFs for offline reading, search for keywords within a single play or the whole corpus, and navigate by act, scene, line, or the new Folger throughline numbers. Every word, space, and piece of punctuation has its own place online.

Plays are also displayed with the same page numbers as in the Folger Shakespeare Library print editions to allow the two to be easily used together in classrooms.

Download the Code
The full source code of the texts may be downloaded by researchers and developers at no cost for noncommercial use—a major time-saver for scholarly research, app development, and other projects. By sharing the coded text, the Folger hopes to significantly advance digital humanities research into the works of Shakespeare and other writers of his time.

“We are delighted that we are now making the complete text of the twelve most popular plays available to anyone with a web connection,” notes Folger Director Michael Witmore. “The most widely-used electronic version of the plays–the Globe Edition (1864)–is over a century old. I believe the Folger Digital Texts will replace it as the electronic edition of record for Shakespeare’s plays.”

Janet Clarke

Janet Clarke

Associate Dean, Research & User Engagement at Stony Brook University Libraries
Janet Clarke
Posted in Arts & Humanities, Comparative Studies, MFA Theatre & Film, Research, Theatre, Writing and Literature