Researchers can use the Browse function to scan, e.g., textual studies of King Lear, translations of the sonnets, films of Henry V, works on the teaching of Shakespeare, or editions of Hamlet. Cross-references are linked to their respective main entry; essays from an edited collection are linked to the entry for the collection.
Entries are searchable by creator, title, subject, keyword, phrase, date, language, publisher, and/or periodical title. Also, users can click on cross-references to access related records (hypertext links identify related works such as responses and continuations).
The World Shakespeare Bibliography Online allows users to take advantage of hypertext technology to search thousands of records to isolate, within seconds, works possibly relevant to their research. For example, users can identify and print or download articles published after 1985 on Hamlet’s age; everything written in English and French about the ending of King Lear; all studies of the instability of Shakespeare’s text; all discussions by Northrop Frye of the comedies; articles in German and published after 1985 that offer a feminist, poststructuralist, or Freudian reading of Macbeth; all productions directed by Deborah Warner; all roles played by Sir Ian McKellen; all articles that discuss how to teach The Tempest in the elementary grades; all reviews of Peter Brook’s La tempête; all studies of a character type (such as the Vice or machiavel), theme, image, or trope.
Navigating the Site
- Browse: The Browse feature will allow you to view all of the records in a specific category.
- Simple: Results from the simple search are obtained by searching against the author, title, publisher, notes, reviews, and people fields; it is a good way to find information quickly, although result sets can be quite large.
- Advanced: The advanced search will look only in the fields that have keywords specified and is a good way to get more specific results (e.g., if you are seeking only titles containing a specific word by a specific author).
Searches can include search individual terms, phrases (indicated by enclosing the terms in double quotes (“ ”), and Boolean operators. For example, using the Simple Search interface a search for CD-ROM publications by James Harner might be entered like this: cd-rom and “harner, james”
All search features provide the following sort options:
- Author: Sorts alphabetically based on the author’s last name (for multiple authors only the first one listed is used as a sorting reference).
- Date: Sorts based on year starting with the most recent. Documents with unknown publication or production dates are listed last.
- Title: Sorts alphabetically based on title.
Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) can be inserted along with search words or phrases in the search fields of both the basic and advanced searches.
Examples: romeo OR “juliet capulet”
juliet NOT romeo
juliet AND romeo
In addition to allowing Boolean operators directly in the search fields, the advanced search offers the option to join the search fields with either an AND or an OR operator by selecting the appropriate value from the radio buttons at the top of the menu. If the OR operator is selected, results will be obtained based on finding ANY values returned from each of the search fields. This will produce more results, but the search will be less focused than with the AND operator, which only displays results based on the records which appear in the results of ALL fields being searched.
By default, all words in a search field are joined with the AND operator.
The Language and Document Type fields in the advanced search will not be affected by the Boolean operator and will always be used to limit your search results to the selections specified.
The asterisk symbol (*) can be used to represent one or more variable characters. For instance, if you wanted to find entries that contain the words DREAM, DREAMS, and DREAMING, you could input dream* to find all three.
The question mark (?) can be used to represent a single variable character. For instance, searching wom?n brings up results for women, woman, and womyn.
To find a complete phrase, search it in quotation marks. "To be or not to be" in quotation marks brings up only those entries that have the full phrase.