Subject Guides

Shakespeare books

This guide will teach you how to find:

  • Shakespearean criticism (scholarly essays analyzing the qualities and character of Shakespeare's works or productions)
  • videos and media of productions of Shakespeare
  • biographical information about Shakespeare's life and influences

Start out by asking yourself:

  • What are my research questions?
  • Do I need some general background on themes/approaches/historical context first?
  • What kinds of material would answer those questions? (journal articles, book chapters, videos, etc.)
  • How might the sources I find help me narrow my research question or point me to other sources?

Reference Sources

Shakespeare A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Plays, His Poems, His Life and Times, and More. Charles Boyce. Facts on File , 1990. (Find it at Ref 822.33 B692)

Oxford Companion to Shakespeare. Michael Dobson. Oxford U P, 2001. (Find it at Ref 822.33 Ox2 or eBrary)

The Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare: A Comprehensive Guide for Students. Joseph Rosenblum. Greenwood Press, 2005. v. 1-4.  (Find it at Ref 822.33 R7232)

Critical Survey of Shakespeare's Plays. Joseph Rosenblum, editor. Salem Press, 2015. (Find it at 2nd floor, 822.33 R7232c)

Series collecting scholarly essays on Shakespeare's works:

Shakespearean Criticism. Laurie Lanzen Harris, editor. Gale, 1984- (Book Stacks, 822.33 H242, and searchable in Literature Resource Center)

Shakespeare Survey is a yearbook of Shakespeare studies and criticism. Each volume is devoted to...

Search the catalog for monographs (books):

Books on Shakespeare are grouped under Library of Congress Subject Headings like these:

OR browse call number 822.33 online or in the stacks.  The 37 individual plays are shelved under 822.33 P 1-37.

OR search by subject or keyword (for example, shakespeare and race) in the catalog:

Albert Search

Search Albert to find books, movies, etc..

Not finding anything? Just search for the title ("measure for measure") and see what collections of essays the library has about that book, or try different combinations of keywords (shakespeare and (religio* OR theolog* OR bibl*)

Search for scholarly journal articles and book chapters on Shakespeare's works in the following databases:

Literary Criticism Databases

Biographies, bibliographies and critical analysis of over 124,000 authors and their works...

The MLA International Bibliography is a subject index for books and articles published on modern...

Interdisciplinary Databases

Provides image and full-text online access to back issues of selected scholarly journals in the...

Full-text access to journals published by the Johns Hopkins University Press and other presses....

International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text contains all of the content...


Shakespeare Documented: Shakespeare Documented is the largest and most authoritative collection of primary-source materials documenting the life of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), bringing together all known manuscript and print references to Shakespeare, his works, and additional references to his family, in his lifetime and shortly thereafter. 

Shakespeare biographies in the Library


Journals Finder

Find Shakespeare plays on DVD/VHS in the library

Search Albert by keyword SHAKESPEARE and limit to Films/Videos.

Find Shakespeare plays on CD/MP3 in the library

Search Albert by keyword SHAKESPEARE and limit to Audio.


Find videos of Shakespeare productions online:

Films On Demand is a streaming video platform that makes it easy to incorporate outstanding...

> English and Language Arts > British and Irish Literature > Shakespeare OR > English and Language Arts > Drama and the Theater > Shakespearean Drama

Global Shakespeares from MIT

Books about Film Adaptations

The Cambridge companion to Shakespeare on film. Jackson, Russell Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2000. (Book Stacks, 822.33 J137)

Focus on Shakespearean films. Eckert, Charles, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall [1972] (Books Stacks, 822.33 Ec572)

Framing Shakespeare on film. Howlett, Kathy M., Athens : Ohio University Press, 2000 (Books Stacks, 822.33 H844)

A history of Shakespeare on screen: a century of film and television. Rothwell, Kenneth S., Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999 (Book Stacks, 822.33 R746)

Books about Stage Productions

Rescripting Shakespeare the text, the director, and modern productions. Dessen, Alan. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002 (eBrary 792.95)

The Routledge companion to directors' Shakespeare. Brown, John Russell, London; New York: Routledge, 2008. (Ref 822.33 B8132r)

Shakespeare: an illustrated stage history. Bate, Jonathon, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996 (Book Stacks, 822.33 B316s)

Looking at Shakespeare: A visual History of Twentieth-Century Performance. Dennis Kennedy. Cambridge [England] ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. (Link+)