About

Scope

What the WSB Online includes:

  • Books, articles, and dissertations entirely about Shakespeare
  • Books, articles, and dissertations that include a substantial discussion of Shakespeare (e.g., books and dissertations that devote a chapter—or its equivalent—to Shakespeare)
  • Stage productions of Shakespeare’s works by a professional or semiprofessional theatrical group (in listing personnel, only the following are recorded: those with speaking roles, translator, dramaturge, director, assistant director, and individuals responsible for sets, costumes, lighting, and music)
  • Reviews of books entirely or substantially about Shakespeare
  • Reviews of professional or semiprofessional stage productions of Shakespeare’s works
  • Films of Shakespeare productions (in listing personnel, only the following are recorded: those with speaking roles, director, assistant director, and individuals responsible for sets, costumes, lighting, cinematography, and music)
  • New stage, musical, dance, and video adaptations of Shakespeare’s works (in listing personnel, only the following are recorded: those with speaking roles, the author and/or translator of the adaptation, choreographer, composer, dramaturge, director, assistant director, and individuals responsible for sets, costumes, lighting, and music)

We attempt only selective coverage of:

  • Books, articles, and dissertations that discuss Shakespeare in a brief but identifiable section that offers more than a recapitulation of commonly known facts or interpretations
  • Obituaries and reminiscences of, or tributes to, major Shakespeare scholars or performers
  • Stage productions by nonprofessional groups (including schools, elementary through university)
  • Reviews of nonprofessional stage productions of Shakespeare’s works
  • Recordings of restaged stage, musical, and dance adaptations of Shakespeare’s works
  • Popular journalistic accounts of Shakespeare interest

In general, we exclude:

  • Recordings of excerpts from musical adaptations of Shakespeare’s works
  • Remastered audio recordings and rereleased video recordings of Shakespeare’s works (unless such are the subject of new reviews)
  • Discussions of stage, musical, film, or dance adaptations that do not treat in a substantial way the relation with Shakespeare
  • Abstracts or summaries of convention papers, convention sessions, or published articles or books
  • Nonevaluative notices of books, productions, films, and recordings
  • Restaged adaptations of Shakespeare’s works
  • General bibliographies, encyclopedias, handbooks, and other literary reference works that treat Shakespeare in passing
  • Unaltered paperback reprints of recently published books
  • Review articles that are not completely devoted to books about Shakespeare (although we list substantive discussions as reviews under individual titles)
  • Books, articles, and dissertations that merely use Shakespeare as a passing example or refer to him in a general way

While the World Shakespeare Bibliography Online both cumulates and significantly expands the annual bibliographies in Shakespeare Quarterly, it omits several entries in the older issues of the latter (especially works peripherally related to Shakespeare, most obituaries of performers, abstracts of unpublished convention papers, and operas not based on Shakespeare texts), condenses some (especially by omitting nonspeaking roles in entries for production), and conflates others (especially abstracts of published works and book or production reviews originally listed as separate entries).

Nearly all works included in the World Shakespeare Bibliography Online have been examined by the editor, a member of the editorial staff, or a member of the committee of correspondents. A few books, articles, reviews, and dissertations that have not been verified are included; these records are clearly identified as unverified and include what information is currently available about them—including details of inaccurate citations and bibliographical ghosts.

A note on editorial consistency

While the World Shakespeare Bibliography Online strives to be editorially consistent, with an evolving team and decades of data, changes do occur.  Here we will keep you apprised of the key changes that might affect how and what you can research with the WSB.

  • from 2013-2016, the WSB did not list all actors for productions for whom that information was freely available online.  We hope to fill this gap in data.
  • until 2015, new editions were entered in the bibliography and old editions were subsumed into the newest edition (with some exceptions). Now we retain the first edition entry, noting second editions with new material in the annotation.
  • until 2015, an entry could only be listed as being a single language: multiple languages (for instance, in facing-page translations) were noted in the annotation. 
  • before 2016, when books that were dissertations were published, the dissertation entry was deleted and a note of the revision was added to the book.  Now, dissertation entries will remain and be cross-referenced to published monograph revisions.