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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: March ::
Folger Library Expands Its Digital Collection
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0081  Sunday, 1 March 2009

From:       Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:       Sunday, March 01, 2009
Subject:    Folger Shakespeare Library Expands Its Digital Collection

Last year on April 1 (and I was not fooling), I announced that 
"According to a Reuters report a few weeks ago and to a brief piece in 
an email distributed [from] the Folger Library that I received, the 
British Library and the Folger Library are working together to make 
available online a free digital collection of quarto editions of 
Shakespeare's plays from their collections. The cost for scanning and 
uploading is being funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 
and the UK's Joint Information Systems Committee and is 'expected to 
take up to a year.' After completion, visitors will be able compare 
quartos from both collections side-by-side. This project joins and 
extends the capabilities of several already existing projects" 
(http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2008/0190.html).

In mid-January, the Library announced that it was expanding access to 
its digital collection "by offering free online access to over 20,000 
images from the library's holdings. The digital image collection 
includes books, theater memorabilia, manuscripts, art, and 218 of the 
Folger's pre-1640 quarto editions of the works of William Shakespeare. 
Users can now examine these collection items in detail while accessing 
the Folger's rare materials from desktop anywhere in the world" 
<http://www.folger.edu/pr_preview.cfm?prid=230&is_archived=0>.

Now from one's desktop the scholar can view multiple images side by 
side, save search results, create permanent links to images, and perform 
other tasks through a free software program, Luna Insight.

According to Stephen Enniss, Eric Weinmann Librarian at the Folger (who 
succeeded Richard Kuhta who retired from that position after fifteen 
years), said that "These features will create more ways for researchers, 
students, and teachers to experience the collection. They can share 
images with each other, generate online galleries, and examine items 
from Queen Elizabeth's letters to costume sketches. As a library we're 
continually seeking ways to expand access to researchers and students 
across the country and around the world."

In addition, the Folger "is also collaborating with the University of 
Oxford [and other libraries and research centers]to create the 
Shakespeare Quartos Archive, which will provide free online access to 
interactive, high-resolution images of the 75 quarto editions of 
Shakespeare's plays.
Press release issued on January 15, 2009.
##########

See the next digest for information about accessing the collection.

Hardy M. Cook
Editor of SHAKSPER


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