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Shakespearean Performance and Shakespeareana Online

The Kislak Center for Special Collections holds one of the world's great collections of works by and about Shakespeare and his times.

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Collection Overview

The Kislak Center for Special Collections holds one of the world's great collections of works by and about Shakespeare and his times. To support this historic collection as well as the teaching and research of faculty at Penn, The Libraries has also invested in videos--streaming and DVD--of important performances of Shakespeare's plays as well as in associated online collections with unique contextual information such as prompt books and archives associated with specific performances. 

Online Resources

  • Shakespeare's Globe On Screen 1 (2008-2015): 21 films recorded live on the Globe stage from leading actors including Mark Rylance, Stephen Fry, and Roger Allam’s Olivier Award-winning Falstaff in Henry IV
  • Shakespeare's Globe On Screen 2 (2016-2018): Features landmark productions from the Globe Theatre’s most recent seasons, including the first production from the indoor Jacobean theatre, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in 2014

  • Academic Video Online: Includes productions of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and BBC, as well as operas, films and television productions.

  • Digital Theatre Plus: Collaboration with over 50 theater companies to provides over 900 productions--including many of Shakespearean play--and related contextual material.

  • Shakespeare's Globe Archives: Theatres, Players and Perfromance: This collection of documents offers insights into the reconstructed Globe Theatre. It details the way in which the theatre was constructed as a place of radical experiment. It documents over 200 performances through prompt books, wardrobe notes, programmes, publicity material, annual reports, show reports, photographs and architectural plans.

  • Shakespeare in Performance: Prompt Books from the Folger Shakespeare Library: Prompt books for performances of Shakespeare's plays between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries, and supporting material for 17 selected plays. Documents are indexed by genre, country, theatre, associated names, and other key search terms. Also present: ephemera, photographs, illustrations, music scores, correspondence, and illustrations.  

  • Victorian Popular Culture: As part of a much larger collection of rare material relating to Popular Culture of the Victorian Era up through the early 20th Century, this database includes ephemera, theatrical books and periodicals, diaries, performance notes and more relating to performances of Shakespeare throughout this period. 


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