Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0607. Friday, 8 August 1996.
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Friday, August 9, 1996
Subject: Review of The World Shakespeare Bibliography on CD-ROM (Long)
[Below is my review of The World Shakespeare Bibliography on CD-ROM: 1990-1993.
A revised version of this review will appear in the Summer Issue of *The
Shakespeare Newsletter* and be placed on the SHAKSPER file server. Comment by
personal e-mail are welcome. HMC]
Harner, James L., ed. The World Shakespeare Bibliography on CD-ROM: 1990-1993.
Cambridge UP, 1996.
The World Shakespeare Bibliography on CD-ROM: 1990-1993 is the first release in
The World Shakespeare Bibliography on CD-ROM 1900-Present project, which, when
complete, will "provide 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 since 1900." This
release "includes coverage of more than 12,000 works published or produced
during 1990-1993 as well as several thousand additional reviews of books,
productions, films, and audio recordings)." The plan is to update The World
Shakespeare Bibliography on CD-ROM annually, moving forward one year and
backwards three. The next disk, scheduled for release in early 1997, will,
thus, cover 1987-1994, with 24,700 plus entries and another 30,000 to 40,000
reviews, newspaper pieces, and the like appended to these entries. This
embedding of reviews and newspaper pieces constitutes one way that the CD-ROM
bibliography differs from the Shakespeare Quarterly print version, which
usually provides individual citations for each.
The World Shakespeare Bibliography on CD-ROM differs from the print
bibliography in other ways too. One obvious difference in the media is
physical: The World Shakespeare Bibliography on CD-ROM: 1990-1993 fits on one
CD-ROM, while the four print volumes that it constitutes take up three inches
of space on the shelf. In addition, the CD-ROM bibliography "both cumulates
and significantly expands the annual bibliographies in Shakespeare Quarterly,
it omits several entries in the latter (especially works peripherally related
to Shakespeare, most obituaries of performers, abstracts of unpublished
convention papers, and operas not based on Shakespeare texts), condenses some
(especially by omitting non-speaking roles in entries for productions), and
conflates others (especially abstracts of published works and book or
production reviews originally listed as separate entries)."
I am sure that I am not the only Shakespearean whose ritual upon receiving the
print World Shakespeare Bibliography in the mail is to turn to the "Author
Index" in the back and check my own citations. I thought that this ritual
might be the place to begin with this examination of The World Shakespeare
Bibliography on CD-ROM, especially with my rather modest output during these
four years. In the 1990 print World Shakespeare Bibliography, I had two
citations: 1043 was a reference to eight abstracts in ShN from the SAA seminar
"Using the Computer in Shakespeare Studies" of which I was a participant, while
1098 was a citation of the abstract itself. In 1991, I also had two citations:
973, a piece I did for ShN on a dual exhibition at the Folger Library, "Royal
Autographs and First Folios Exhibited at Folger"; and 1322, a citation of
abstracts of four articles I made for ShN. In 1992, there were four citations:
673, the 1992 Summer Festivals list I compile for ShN; 1065, a reference to my
review of Janet Adelman's Suffocating Mothers for ShN; and 3103 and 4654, my
essay "Jane Howell's BBC First Tetralogy: Theatrical and Televisual
Manipulation" in LFQ and a cross reference to it. In 1993 were a citation for
the 1993 Summer Festivals list (827) and an entry for the SHAKSPER Listserv
(962). Then I turned to the CD-ROM version.
I began by starting the Cambridge DynaText Reader. In the opening screen of
the DynaText Reader, I double clicked the World Shakespeare Bibliography from
the book collection. What appeared to the left is the table of contents - the
four major divisions of the taxonomy ("General Shakespeareana," "Play Groups,"
Individual Works," and "Indexes"). The subdivisions of these major divisions
are accessible by a mouse click on the plus sign to the left. In a separate
window to the right is the text, the entries themselves with hypertext links to
cross-references indicated by a red arrow.
With typical power-user hubris (that is, not consulting the User's Manual), I
entered "Cook, Hardy" in the "Find" panel at the bottom of the screen. I got
seven hits as indicated on the first line on left side by a red "7" next to the
table of contents title, The World Shakespeare Bibliography on CD-ROM:
1990-1993. Just below, "General Shakespeareana" was highlighted with a red "4"
next to the plus sign; on the right was the 1992 Summer Festivals entry (1174).
Just above these are thirteen button icons. DynaText does not as yet provide
"bubble" help identifying the icons, but the first icon, a flashlight, is
normally used for "Find," while the second and third - a triangle pointing left
and right respectively - are used for "Previous" and "Next." So I clicked the
right pointing triangle, and viola at the top of the text window now was
displayed citation 1684, the 1993 Summer Festivals entry; on the left, "General
Shakespeareana" remained highlighted. One more click on the "Next" icon
revealed a reference to my Suffocating Mothers review, embedded in the citation
for the work itself (1926). Another click brought me to the entry for SHAKSPER
(2012). The next click took me out of "General Shakespeareana" to the two
citations under "Individual Works," my essay on Jane Howell (6265) and its
cross reference (9822). The last hit for "Cook, Hardy" was to the "Authors
Index" to which I will return in a moment. I next clicked the flashlight icon,
which returned me to the "Find" panel at the bottom of the screen with "Cook,
Hardy" still highlighted. A click on the fourth icon, a flashlight with in a
circle with a slanted line through it, returned me to the "Find" panel and
erased my previous search. I then searched for "Hardy Cook." The four hits
(one in "Play Groups"; the other three in "Individual Works) were embedded
references to the four article abstracts I prepared for ShN in 1991 (3883,
7077, 7809, and 9090).
With "Cook, Hardy" and "Hardy Cook" uncovering seven of the ten citations from
the print bibliography, I decided to see what a boolean search (and, or, not)
would reveal, so I searched for "Hardy and Cook." The resulting number of hits
(28) indicated in the table of contents window is misleading. In the first
three major divisions of the taxonomy, the search engine clearly counted a
single entry as two hits (the appearance of "Hardy and Cook" or "Cook and
Hardy" together in a single citation counted as two hits and not as one;
further, when I added my middle initial, the same single citation counted as
three hits when the "M." was present.) What I do not understand is why in the
"Author Index" the "Cook" of the two authors before and after me (Carol,
Dorothy, Heather, and Judith) were also highlighted and counted. This anomaly
not withstanding, the boolean search of "Hardy and Cook" uncovered eleven
citations (1174, 1684, 1865, 1926, 2012, 3883, 6265, 7077, 7809, 9090, and
9822) and the "Author Index" entry. The only citation I found by the boolean
search that did not show up in the two previous simple searches was 1865 - a
reference to my piece on the dual Folger Library exhibition embedded in the
citation for the catalogue Peter Blayney wrote for his exhibit - The First
Folio of Shakespeare.
I have purposely postponed discussing the "Author Index" entry until now. The
taxonomy in the left-hand window can be scrolled through to browse the CD-ROM
bibliography in a manner analogous to using the print bibliography. I
mentioned earlier what I do when I receive the print bibliography in the mail.
I could have approached the CD-ROM version is a similar manner. Clicking the
plus sign next to "Indexes" reveals its four divisions - "Authors," "Actors,"
"Dramatists," and "Subjects." By clicking "Authors," the letters of the
alphabet appear. By highlighting "C" and typing "Cook, Hardy" in the "Find"
panel or by scrolling through the Cs, I reached "Cook, Hardy," revealing the
eleven citations I have already uncovered through my three searches. To reach
any of these citations, all I needed to do was click on the citation number.
Viola all over again, power-user hubris pay back, but what did I learn from
First, I learned that all of the citations except those to the unpublished
abstract of my SAA seminar paper that were in the print version appeared in the
CD-ROM (as the introductory matter to the bibliography indicates) and that the
article abstracts that had received one citation in print were embedded in the
four abstracted articles in the CD-ROM as was my review of Suffocating Mothers
and the Folger Library dual exhibition piece (again, as indicted in the
introductory material). Second, I learned that one can use the indexes and the
table of contents (taxonomy) to search or browse The World Shakespeare
Bibliography on CD-ROM in a manner comparable to the ways one uses the print
version and that one can initiate both simple and complex searches of the
database. In fact, the power and speed of searching is the clearest advantage
the CD-ROM has over its print counterpart. Let me illustrate.
A simple search to find references to "Fluellen" might start in the table of
contents section: Click "Indexes"; click "Subjects"; click "F"; type "Fluellen"
in "find" box; resulting in two hits of articles discussing Fluellen. The
taxonomy, however, indicates other hits. To see what they were, I could scroll
through the list or return the text window to the beginning and enter
"Fluellen" in the "Find" panel. Either way ten reviews of Henry V with stage
credits for Fluellen are located.
However, much more sophisticated searches are possible using the "Search Forms"
dialog box. To reach it, I clicked on "Book" from the menu bar and selected
"Search Forms." The top half of this dialog box records "Past Searches."
Below this is a search form selection panel, with the default display being
"Standard," and another "Find" panel. At the bottom are four buttons: "Find,"
"Cancel," "Previous," and "Next." In this default configuration, "Search
Forms" acts just like the "Find" panel at the bottom of the screen. Clicking
on "Standard" reveals the other search forms: "Entry Title," "Entry Author,"
Entry Number," "Proximity Search," "Keyword Search," and "Keyword and
Language." The "Search Forms" dialog box can be left open and used to maneuver
through searches with the results displayed in the text window. "Entry Title"
is used to search words in titles; "materialist," for example, appears in three
titles in this CD-ROM. "Entry Author" locates only the author, editor,
compiler, and the like of entries. "Entry Number" quickly locates citations by
their numbers. "Keyword" searches for entries that contain particular words in
their keyword field. "Keyword and Language" searches entries in a particular
language: "King Lear" and "fr" locates Yves Thoret's "Le m