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Encyclopedias, etc.

When researching a new topic, it is often necessary to get an overview, explanations of unfamiliar terms, or brief factual information. The print and electronic resources listed below include selected reference materials (dictionaries, encyclopaedias, handbooks, guides, and standards) that are relevant to the study of the works of William Shakespeare. To find additional reference materials, check UNB WorldCat or our Encyclopedias, etc database.

Key Resources

  • Wiley/Blackwell Reference Online
    Wiley/Blackwell Reference Online "is a vast new online library giving instant access to the most authoritative and up-to-date scholarship across the humanities and social sciences. With more than 350 reference volumes to be published in Blackwell Reference Online by the end of 2008, it is the largest academic reference collection available online and includes the critically-acclaimed Blackwell Companions and Handbooks, major reference works such as the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management and the Companion to Syntax, and a whole host of other valuable reference materials such as dictionaries, encyclopedias and concise companions."
  • Critical companion to William Shakespeare : a literary reference to his life and works [HIL-REF PR2892 .B69 2005 vols. 1-2]

    In addition to facts about Shakespeare's life and works, Boyce includes in his encyclopedia a brief biography of Shakespeare, scene- by-scene synopses, critical commentary on every play, analyses of characters and biographical information on figures in Shakespeare's life. Boyce, a freelance writer specializing in Elizabethan England, notes that this reference is not intended as scholarship, but he incorporates entries on important scholars, documents, and literary and theatrical terms. This revised edition includes a discussion of Edward III, a new addition to the canon, and recent scholarship about Shakespeare's possible Catholicism and his probable collaboration with other playwrights. Annotation #169;2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • The Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare : a comprehensive guide for students [HIL-REF PR2976 .G739 2005 vols. 1-4]

    To help students approach Shakespeare's works without "shuddering fear," this comprehensive companion provides a grounding in the author's life and work. The first volume contains essays about Shakespeare's personal history and his times, including the state of the theater and the English language in his day. The second half of volume one is dedicated to Shakespeare's history plays. Volumes two, three, and four discuss the comedies, tragedies, and comedies, respectively. Volume four also covers Shakespeare's sonnets and the narrative poems. The discussions of the plays include scene-by-scene plot summaries, publication history, sources, structure, plotting, characters and themes. The essays also explicate key passages and consider critical discourse about the works. An annotated bibliography accompanies each essay; an annotated list of relevant websites and a selected bibliography are appended to volume four. Annotation #169;2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Oxford English dictionary (OED)
    "This unique and powerful resource offers unprecedented access to the definitive record of the meaning, history and evolution of more than 600,000 words over the last 1,500 years."A complete text of the 2nd. ed. of the Oxford English dictionary with quarterly updates, including revisions not available in any other form.
    5 simultaneous users
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB)
    Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is an illustrated/fulltext reference tool providing 55,000 specially-written signed biographies of the men and women who shaped all aspects of the British past from the earliest times to the end of the year 2000. It is the product of research instituted at the University of Oxford and funded by the British Academy and by Oxford University Press. It is the achievement of 10,000 contributors and advisers staff in Oxford. The Oxford DNB aims to provide full, accurate, concise, and readable articles on noteworthy people in all walks of life. No living person is included: the Dictionary's articles are confined to people who died before 31 December 2000.

Additional Resources

  • The Cambridge History of British Theatre (Vol.1)
    The first of three volumes looking at the turbulent public life of performance in Britain. Volume One covers pre-Elizabethan theatre.
    Purchased multi-user unlimited access
  • A Dictionary of Shakespeare [HIL-REF PR2892 .W43 2005]

    This concise, illustrated dictionary of Shakespeariana, compiled by one of the best-known authorities on his works, contains alphabetically arranged entries guiding the reader to a wealth of information on all aspects of Shakespeare in his own time and on his impact and influence on later ages. Stanley Wells provides clear entries on: Shakespeare's life and times, the sources and early publication of his works, their performance history on stage and screen, actors such as Edmund Kean and Kenneth Branagh, and writers especially associated with them, operas and other musical works deriving from them, theaters, editions, international Shakespeare organizations--in short, on all aspects of Shakespearean interest. The volume is complemented by a series of striking pronouncements about Shakespeare over the ages from Jane Austen to Bernard Levin, tables providing interesting facts about the plays, famous documents bearing Shakespeare's signature, and a useful guide to further reading. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • The Shakespeare name dictionary
    see also [HIL-REF PR2892 .D33 1995]
    The authors cover everything: characters (Touchstone, the clown in "As You Like It"), places (Tours, the French city mentioned in "Henry VI"), animals (Tray, one of King Lear's three dogs), buildings (the Tower of London), officials (Roman Tribunes), rivers (the Trent), nationals ("Transylvanian"), nicknames (Monsieur Traveller, applied to Jaques in "As You Like It"), astrological groupings (Trigon, an astrological group of three signs), and much more. "The Shakespeare Name Dictionary" identifies them all in full, readable entries. The authors' coverage includes such information as the historical errors in Shakespeare's plays, as well as variant interpretations of names. Line references in the plays are keyed to the Oxford Shakespeare. With fuller coverage than anything currently available, "The Shakespeare Name" "Dictionary"-available in paperback for the first time--is the ultimate guide to the plays. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
    CHOICE Review

    Davis and Frankforter list "every name, proper adjective, official title, literary and musical title and place

  • Longman guide to Shakespeare's characters : a who's who of Shakespeare [HIL-REF PR2989 .M18 1985]
  • Shakespeare's Sexual Language: A Glossary

    Shakespeare's use of sexual language, imagery and erotic themes is extensive, varied, and although this is necessarily hard to establish, probably innovative at times. This glossary provides a first-hand guide to Shakespeare's sexual language, some of which is notoriously difficult to unravel and whose roots go back into earlier literature.

  • Which Shakespeare? : a user's guide to editions [HIL-REF PR3071 .T48 1991]

    A concise survey of the competing editions of Shakespeare, providing readers and potential buyers with the basic information they need to choose the edition most appropriate to their requirements. It covers both editions of the complete works and editions of individual plays.

  • Hutchinson Shakespeare dictionary : an A-Z guide to Shakespeare's plays, characters, and contemporaries [HIL-REF PR2892 .H87 1986]
  • Shakespeare on screen : an international filmography and videography [HIL-REF PR3093 .R68 1990]
  • Shakespeare on film [HIL-REF PR3093 .M6]
  • A Companion to Shakespeare's Sonnets
    This title is part of the Wiley/Blackwell Reference Online e-book collection available through the Wiley Online Library.
    Permitted Use | Purchased multi-user unlimited access
  • A Concise Companion to Shakespeare on Screen
    This title is part of the Wiley/Blackwell Reference Online e-book collection available through the Wiley Online Library.
    Permitted Use | Purchased multi-user unlimited access
  • Oxford Reference
    Multi-part database of the online versions of Oxford University Press texts. Each topical division contains the searchable version of the latest edition of published dictionaries and encyclopedias. Additionally, information about Oxford University Press is provided. Online texts will be updated after new editions of the print monographs are published.Covers the humanities and social sciences.
    Collection limited to subscribed 5-user access


Last modified on March 5, 2024 11:12