The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0118  Tuesday, 16 March 2010

From:         James Harriman-Smith <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         March 13, 2010 11:53:18 AM EST
Subject:      The Open Shakespeare Project

Dear Hardy Cook,

Having come across shaksper.net recently, I thought you would like to know about our work here at The Open Shakespeare Project (www.openshakespeare.org). Currently maintained by a small team of volunteers, we are looking to attract more people and were wondering if you or anyone you know would be interested.

On our site we offer a variety of ways to engage with Shakespeare electronically. You can currently: compare texts side by side, be they different editions or different translations; perform basic statistical analysis; and annotate the texts with so as to share your thoughts on Shakespeare with the world.

This last will hopefully one day lead to a Wikipedia-style revolution in criticism, and critical editions, producing editions of plays that bring the thought of thousand to bear on Shakespeare's works.

If this interests you, or anyone you know, please get in touch with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

James Harriman-Smith

P.S. Please find below a blurb for the website:

Do you have an interest in innovative scholarship, an obsessive love of the Bard, or want to work with others to create a new way to engage with Shakespeare?

We're putting together a comprehensive, community-created collection of Shakespeare's works which (unlike most current editions) will be completely "open"-free for anyone to use (and re-use).

Add your own annotations and critical notes, create summaries and introductions, track down sources and create your own critical edition. If you don't agree with an existing annotation, talk it out with the author on the site!

Every user is also a creator, so visit www.openshakespeare.org and take a look at the site. If you want to get more actively involved, we need people to write and proof-edit copy, manage the website, and to find and investigate different editions. The site's technology is also set up to be used by any techie who'd like to develop a similar idea.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to join an alternative to traditional scholarship in action!

We also have an Open Shakespeare Facebook group."

[Editor's Note: 

From the "Get Involved with Open Shakespeare!" section, "Which area of the site would you like to work on? (Select as many as you like)" . . . "Do you have any relevant experience?" (Don't worry if you don't! Experience is not as necessary as enthusiasm). 

I should add that Open Shakespeare is to be distinguished from Open Source Shakespeare: An Experiment in Literary Technology <http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/>. Open Source Shakespeare is the work of Eric Johnson in fulfillment of part of his M.A. requirement at George Mason University: http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/info/paper_toc.php. Johnson's site has undergone scholarly vetting and has one of the most useful Search Engines I have found on the Internet as well as an excellent concordance. Although similar in appearance and name, similarities between Open Shakespeare and Open Source Shakespeare end there. Open Source Shakespeare is not the only free Internet search engine, but I thought I should mention it especially in that Open Shakespeare has such surface similarities to it. 

Perhaps in the near future, I will review other of the Internet online texts and search engines and concordances. You may find some of these in my "Selected Guide to Shakespeare on the Internet": http://www.shaksper.net/archives/files/internet.sites.html. This gateway list of links I prepared for my revision of my essay "Shakespeare on the Internet" that was originally published in _Sh@kespeare in the Media: From the Globe Theatre to the World Wide Web_.  <Eds. Stefani Brusberg-Kiermeier and Jorg Helbig. Berlin; Bern; Bruxelles; New York; Oxford; Wien: Peter Lang, 2004. 213-241.> I spent considerable time revising this essay, but the forthcoming second edition has not appeared, leading me to conclude that the project has been abandoned. I plan to make this revision available on the upcoming redesigned SHAKSPER web site, but until then you may downloaded the essay from here <http://www.shaksper.net/~hcook/ShInternet.pdf>. Everyday that this essay does not see publication is one more day that it becomes further out of date.  Clearly, this is not a brilliant work of theoretical criticism, but it is comprehensive and, I believe, a useful essay that deserves to be made available to anyone with an interest in it. The conversion from PC Word to Adobe pdf used fonts that are not as attractive or as readable as should be. Shortly, I shall create a more readable version at the same link. Attention: Be sure to enter the proper case in the file name ShInternet.pdf. Enjoy! 

PS: I strive to keep the online Guide as up-to-date as possible. Links should be obtained from it rather than from the text of the essay or its appendix, both of which may contain 


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