resources: digital First Folios

I’ve written about digitizing Shakespeare’s First Folio before, looking at the interfaces of the many different copies out there. But I’m turning my attention to this again for my contribution on the subject for the in-progress Cambridge Companion to the First Folio, edited by Emma Smith. In my article, I’ll be thinking about why there are so many libraries digitizing this same book over and over again and what these many projects can teach us about what we look for from the First Folio and from digital tools.

But to do that, I revisited the 13—!!!!—digitized copies currently out there on the interwebs and created a list identifying each copy and its various relevant features for both the interface and the book itself. Some exciting news since I last looked: Miami has reimaged theirs, created a new interface, and released the images as public domain! Bodleain’s already awesome F1 got even awesomer with the addition of XML. There’s sad news, too: Leeds digitized their copy but made it impossible to download images or to link to specific openings, so I’m not really sure what the point of that is.

Should you be interested in such a resource, I am happy to share it with you! At “digitized First Folios” you’ll  get one-stop shopping for your First Folio needs (what’s there, can you download images, under what terms, and what are its notable copy-specific features). I will be updating that page as needed (and please let me know about needed additions/changes/corrections), so it now supersedes the various other lists I’ve created here on my blog and over at The Collation. I’ve also included some general information about the First Folio that might be helpful, like what the collational formula is, what the signatures are for the preliminaries, and what plays are in it. You know, the questions that keep you up late at night!

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