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Shakespeare in the Little Apple

Features K-State Libraries' resources supporting the Shakespeare experience in conjunction with K-State's hosting of a First Folio.

Research the Bard

This page explores resources available to researchers wanting to study Shakespeare the author and the works of Shakespeare. Whether you're conducting a literary analysis or studying the history of the Globe Theatre, we have you covered. 

This page is organized to follow the researcher through searches of increasing complexity. Start with plot summaries of the plays so that you understand the story, move on to glossaries and annotated editions so you can understand Shakespeare's language and direction, then find literary criticism of his works, and end up by studying Shakespeare, the man and his time. 

Summaries of Shakespeare's Plays

Use these resources to find summaries or synopses of Shakespeare's plays. 


Understanding Shakespeare with Glossaries


Does that word mean what you think it means? Look for glossaries of Shakespeare's plays.

Glossaries compile definitions of terms found in Shakespeare that may be unfamiliar to today's reader. 


While not a glossary, the site Shakespeare's Language from the Royal Shakespeare Company, offers insight into what Shakespeare meant when he said that thing.

Understanding Shakespeare While You Read with Annotations

Annotated editions of Shakespeare's plays provide notes and explanations as you read. 

Annotations range from brief definitions of terms (see the Riverside Shakespeare) to extensive comments that include definitions, interpretations of the texts, and staging decisions (see the Hamlet edited by Thompson & Taylor.)  

Sample Annotations

Riverside Shakespeare
PR 2754 .E9 1974
Hale Library Stack Level D 

Image of page from Hamlet with annotations

William Shakespeare, Hamlet
eds. Ann Thompson & Neil Taylor
PR 2807 .T47 2005
Hale Library Stack Level D 

Page from Arden edition of Hamlet with notes explaining annotations


Finding Annotated Editions

K-State Libraries owns editions of individual plays and many will be annotated. Browse the shelves using the call numbers below.

PR 2801 - PR 2840
Separate works 
Hale Library Stack Level D 
The link below (Shakespeare Call Numbers for Separate Works) will open as a PDF document listing the call numbers by play title. 

Literary Criticism of Shakespeare's Works

Use these resources to find studies of Shakespeare's works.  


Pro tip: a bibliography is a collection of citations. When a database is called a bibliography it usually means the full-text of the articles or books are not included in the books.

Current K-State students, staff, faculty, and visitors to our campus can use the Get It! button or Search It to find the publication in another database or in our collection. Current K-Staters can request that we borrow a copy from another library.

Browse books in K-State Libraries

PR 3071
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 Criticism, Textual
Hale Stack Level D


Locate articles, chapters, and other materials through databases

Current K-State students, staff, faculty, and visitors to our campus can conduct research starting with these databases:

World Shakespeare Bibliography banner

The World Shakespeare Bibliography includes an annotation explaining why the article/chapter/book is important.    

Search using keywords.

Browse entries by:
  • individual works
  • play groups and poems (comedies, histories)
  • general Shakespeareana (biographies, reference works, productions)
The Get It button does not appear in the World Shakespeare Bibliography. To find an article or book, copy the title from the Bibliography and paste it into the Libraries' Search It search box.


Who Was Shakespeare?

These sources provide biographical information about Shakespeare. Learn when he lived, where he lived, who he knew, and what he did (besides writing enduring plays and poetry.)  

Browse books in K-State Libraries

PR 2893
Historical sources and documents of the biography of Shakespeare
Hale Library Stack Level D 

PR 2910
The age of Shakespeare. Elizabethan England
Hale Library Stack Level D 

Search for articles in databases through K-State Libraries:

Current K-State students, staff, faculty, and visitors to our campus can conduct research starting with these databases:

Research Shakespeare on websites from museums, libraries, and other experts.