The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0110 Thursday, 20 January 2005
Date: Thursday, 20 Jan 2005 03:21:08 -0800
Subject: Records of Early English Drama (REED) Online
Very quietly all but one of the 24 volumes of the Records of Early
English Drama (REED; 1979-) have been put online, at the Internet
Archive, in the Canadian Libraries section:
Below I include the URLs for the individual volumes, but if they are not
clickable, just go to Internet Archive and search on "Records" among
Text material. The one volume not yet online is Dorset/Cornwall.
(If you're not familiar with REED, which covers theatrical history to
1642, see the couple of paragraphs at the bottom.)
Bibliographic data below is from the REED site:
There is, so far, no official announcement from the publishers--the
Centre for Research in Early English Drama, Victoria University,
University of Toronto. Director of the project is Alexandra F. Johnston
and executive editor Sally-Beth MacLean. Even with these volumes
published since 1979, work continues: "In addition, over 30 other
editors are at work on other collections, including two that go beyond
the original boundaries of our research to cover other parts of the
British Isles: RED (Records of Early Drama): Scotland and Wales."
The project is massive as a printed series and is both space- and
time-consuming on the computer. The two principal formats are
Lizardtech's DjVu to show page facsimiles, and plaintext. A word on both.
DjVu is something like Adobe Acrobat Reader (for PDFs) but is slower and
clumsier. As the filesize to browse a volume is the same for
DjVu-via-download or DjVu-via-Java-applet, and your browser requires the
DjVu plugin in any case (click on the logo on each gateway page, or go
to http://www.lizardtech.com/download/dl_options.php?page=doc), I
recommend taking the time to download the files because, offline, DjVu
will work a bit faster with the files locally stored.
DjVu is designed to work with IE and Netscape but I find it also
functions in Firefox. In your browser, use File/Open.
The plaintext files are the result of fairly good OCR scans but of
course the REED printed-page formatting disappears. Further, in a
viewer like Notepad, all the paragraphing disappears as well, but
reappears if you save the file in Word.
The 24 REED volumes total more than 13,000 pp.--an average of 568 per
volume. All 23 available DjVu files would amount to 195MB--ranging
individually from 3.2MB to 12.1MB. The 23 available text files are only
13.2MB (21.2MB as converted to Word).
BTW if you had to buy the REED editions they would set you back
$2,510--plus whatever the two out-of-print volumes would cost. REED,
University of Toronto, its press, British Library, Internet Archive, and
all should be commended for providing public access to a valuable
Here are the REED volume details (UTP=University of Toronto Press):
Bristol (1997), ed. Mark C. Pilkinton. 468pp. UTP. $125. ISBN:
Cambridge (1989), ed. J. Alan H. Nelson. 1,502 pp in 2 vols. UTP. $175.