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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: April ::
ISE: More Facsimiles and Facsimile Gateway
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.02038  Saturday, 5 April 2008

From: 		Hardy M. Cook <
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Date: 		Saturday, April 05, 2008
Subject: 	ISE: More Facsimiles and Facsimile Gateway

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

Earlier in the week (SHK 19.0195, Wednesday, April 2, 2008), I wrote 
about some of the exciting Digital Collections making Shakespeare's 
quartos and folios available over the Internet in medium to high quality 
facsimiles <http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2008/0190.html>. At the 
time, I did not mention a project that I am intimately involved in as a 
member of the Editorial Board and as an editor of the _Poems_, "The 
Internet Shakespeare Editions," 
<http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/index.html>. The Internet 
Shakespeare Editions (ISE) is undoubtedly the most ambitious and 
potentially most valuable use of the Internet for textual studies. The 
aim of the ISE, the child of visionary Michael Best, is to "create and 
publish works for the student, scholar, actor, and general reader in a 
form native to the medium of the Internet: scholarly, fully annotated 
texts of Shakespeare's plays, multimedia explorations of the context of 
Shakespeare's life and works, and records of his plays in performance."

At the heart of the ISE is "The Illuminated Text," "a new interactive 
resource" which allows the user to take advantage of the full 
capabilities of the computer by exploring a range of multimedia tools to 
assist in the display, comparison, and exploration of Shakespeare's 
texts. There are three main ways to explore the texts: 1. Folios, 
quartos and other original publications (View, search, print, or cut and 
paste transcriptions of the old spelling texts as they were originally 
published.); 2. Facsimiles of the original publications (See graphics of 
the books in which the plays and poems first appeared. These books are 
held in major libraries around the world, and are made available here 
for you to browse through.); and 3. The modern texts (Read and explore 
modern editions of the plays and poems with full annotation and 
explanations, as well as an introduction and illustrations from 
performance.). When a work is completed, users of the site select work 
(poem or play), and then explore that work by clicking between 
diplomatic transcriptions of the original quartos and or folio 
printings, a modern edition of the work that is thoroughly annotated, 
and a facsimiles of the original printing/s. In addition, in the home 
pages for each of the plays and poems, users will find another resource: 
pages that collect everything related to the work across the whole site, 
from the texts and facsimiles to performance, and contextual and 
critical materials, and links to related sites elsewhere on the Web. If 
theses apparatuses were not enough, appropriate materials to the 
published book format will be included in an "integrated text" edition 
from Broadview Press, Canada's leading independent academic press.

As the ISE continues to grow so does its integral collection of 
facsimiles: 
<http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Library/facsimile/index.html>. 
Currently, the Internet Shakespeare Editions have two copies of the 
First Folio, Folios 2, 3, and 4, and many of the BL Quartos (more 
forthcoming as funding and research assistant time permit). All can be 
accessed from the pages of the texts, and the advanced navigation allows 
comparative views and searching by TLN for a given play.

In addition, the ISE also has a gateway site to the most comprehensive 
list of links to "Sites on Shakespeare and the Renaissance": 
<http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Annex/links/index.html>. Among this 
list is a section on "Texts," which includes Facsimiles, Hypertexts, 
Modern texts of the complete canon, Old spelling, Searching for 
quotations, Shakespeare's Language, and Translations. The facsimiles 
section, 
<http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Annex/links/Shakespeare_Sites/Texts.html#Facsimiles>, 
includes annotations, key words, bibliographical information, and a 
feature that should be found in more such lists of links, the date that 
the link was last checked for validity.

 From the onset of this project, Michael Best has moved carefully and 
cautiously to insure academic integrity. In the Internet world, where 
sites appear to loud flourishes and then either disappear or are never 
or seldom kept up-to-date, scholars should welcome the Internet 
Shakespeare Editions with its high standards. Unfortunately, this 
project does not get the attention that is so rightly deserves.

Hardy

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