The Shakespeare Quartos Archive, a freely accessible, high‐resolution digital archive of the Quartos.
Shakespeares Quartos Video and full digital archive, giving you unique and direct access to the most important sources about Shakespeare’s plays, the earliest still existing copies of the plays…Simply intriguing and a good collaboration between institutions, available for free and easy net access. Digital images of the folios and online querying of the text.
Text mining is a technology that can take forward research across disciplines and here we see history, literature and technology ably connecting. Providing a capability difficult, if not impossible to achieve by paper and enabling the world to access these unique and precious artefacts.
In this summer of celebration leading on from the Diamond Jubilee, with the forthcoming British Museum Exhibition on Shakespeare Staging the World (here is the video for the Exhibition ) a collaboration with the RSC and the World Shakespeare Festival led by the RSC, surely time to take a look at t works that have influenced most if not every writer in many languages since they were written. Certainly many intriguing connections and gives some insight into how digitised artefacts increase ease of access, widen the audience that can engage with these unique objects and enable us all to pursue our own research and enquiry using these emerging digital history toolkits. It is still early days but the potential is huge and great for anyone with an interest in pursuing their own research projects whatever the subject.
Using the Archive Video
Using the Shakespeare Quartos Archive from MITH in MD on Vimeo.
Advanced Features Video
Ability to annotate work with the Exhibit tools
Advanced Features of the Shakespeare Quartos Archive
The project is a good example of collaboration seeking to ensure that the best outputs are achieved, leveraging the different competences assets, talents and resources, rather than duplicated and diluted efforts. The current participants under the umbrella of JISC are Bodleian Library, of the University of Oxford , British Library, NLS National Library of Scotland , University of Edinburgh, Huntingdon Library and the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham,Folger Shakespeare Library , Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) of the University of Maryland.
The slightly worrying thing about many digital history projects is that there is not a unified approach or toolkit and that most undergraduates receive no obligatory training in how to harness the technology to inform and extend their research capability and most importantly the quality of the outcomes from their research. Even in the UK with a body like the JISC as an umbrella much is disparate and diluted in terms of payback, with duplicated efforts wasting precious resources…Let’s all hope it gets sorted soon!
This Quartos Project gives us some hope!