Shakespeare on Screen

a library research Guide prepared by Mark Andre Singer, M.S.Ed, M.L.S.

  1. Scope
  2. Introductions
  3. Subject Headings and Call Numbers
  4. Selected Bibliography
  5. Filmographies and Videographies
  6. Shakespeare Reference Works: the classics
  7. Indexes and Abstracts
  8. Shakespeare Journals
  9. Film Journals
  10. Internet Sources: annotated Web sites Shakespeare
  11. Associations and Organizations


This guide to researching adaptations of Shakespeare's plays on film and video is primarily focused on screen adaptations. Those interested in stage adaptations, literary criticism, teaching or, just cultivating a deeper appreciation for the Bard from Stratford-on-Avon, will find many useful resources in "Shakespeare Reference Works" and "Internet Sources" in this pathfinder.

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An excellent introduction appears in:
Shakespeare on screen by Kenneth S. Rothwell. 1990.
Find it in the reference section: ref PR3093 .R68

See also the chapter entitled "Shakespeare on film" by Roger Manvell in:
The Shakespeare handbook. Levi Fox, ed. 1987. ref PR2976 

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Subject Headings for searching a library catalog,
and Call Numbers for browsing the shelves.

Use Keyword or Browse searches for "Shakespeare and Film".
To narrow your search, use Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).
For example, for a subject search of "discussions of motion picture or video adaptations", type:


For a particular Shakespearean film adaptation on video,
enter the film's title and "feature films":


To browse the shelves, look in Call Number area: PR3093.
Shakespeare-related Reference works are in: ref PR2976.

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Selected Bibliography

Ball, Robert Hamilton. Shakespeare on silent film. 1968. PR3093 .B3

Davies, Anthony. Filming Shakespeare's plays: the adaptations of Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Peter Brook, and Akira Kurosawa. 1988. PR3093 .M3

Dawson, Anthony B. Hamlet. "Shakespeare in Performance" series. 1995. PR2807 .D35

Jorgens, Jack J. Shakespeare on film. 1977. (excellent descriptions and stills) PR3093 .J6

Kliman, Bernice W. Hamlet : film, television, and audio performance. 1988. PR2807 .K57

Manvell, Roger. Shakespeare and the film. 1971. PR3093 .M3

McMurtry, Jo. Shakespeare films in the classroom: a descriptive guide. 1994.
ref PR2987 .M36

Rothwell, Kenneth S. (Kenneth Sprague). Shakespeare on screen: an international filmography and videography. 1990. ref PR3093 .R68

Shakespeare, Aphra Behn, and the canon. "Approaching literature" Series, book 3. 1996. PR2965 .S39

Shakespeare and the moving image: the plays on film and television. Anthony Davies and W. Wells, eds. 1994. (Filmography: pp.18-49) PR3093 .S53

Shakespeare on television: an anthology of essays and reviews. James C. Bulman and Herbert R. Coursen, eds. 1988. (Videography: pp. 319-321) PR3093 .S54

Shakespeare, the movie: popularizing the plays on film, TV, and video. Lynda E. Boose and Richard Burt, eds. 1997. PR3093 .S545

Willis, Susan. The BBC Shakespeare plays: making the televised canon. 1991. PR3093 .W55

For more books, do a subject search under:


Or, for a broader subject search:


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Filmographies and Videographies

THE BEST, most comprehensive reference source for Shakespearean screen adaptations is Kenneth Rothwell's Shakespeare on screen: an international filmography and videography. 1990. ref PR3093 .R68

BUT, you should also check the bibliographies, filmographies, and videographies in the more recent publications listed above in "Recommended Books".

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Shakespeare Reference Works: the Classics

Boyce, Charles Shakespeare A to Z : the essential reference... 1990. ref PR2892 .B69

Cambridge companion to Shakespeare studies. 1986. PR2976 .C29

Champion, Larry S. The essential Shakespeare : an annotated bibliography of major modern studies. 1986. PR2894 .C53

Lloyd Evans, Gareth and Barbara. The Shakespeare companion. 1978. ref PR2976 .E9

Onions, C. T. A Shakespeare glossary. 1986. ref PR2892 .O6

Schmidt, Alexander. Shakespeare lexicon; a complete dictionary. 1968. ref PR2892 .S4

Shakespeare handbook, The. Levi Fox, ed. 1987. ref PR2976 .S3374 (See the chapter entitled "Shakespeare on film" by Roger Manvell.)

Wells, Stanley W. Shakespeare, an illustrated dictionary. 1978. PR2892 .W44

Woodbridge, Linda. Shakespeare, a selective bibliography of modern criticism. 1988. ref PR2976 .W64

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Indexes and Abstracts

Abstracts of English studies. Quarterly. 1991-current in the Reference Department.

Annual bibliography of English language and literature. Annual. ref Z2011 .M69

Arts and humanities citation index. Annual. ref Z2011 .M69

Film literature index. Quarterly, with annual cumulations. 1973-current in Reference Dept.

Humanities index. Quarterly with annual cumulations. 1974-current in Reference Department.

International index to film periodicals. 1985. ref PN1993 .I56

MLA Abstracts database (on CD-ROM) accessible at the Reference Department.

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Shakespeare Journals

All of the following journals are indexed on the CD-COM versions of the Modern Language Association's: MLA International Bibliography. Use the MLA Abstracts for a fast computer search on ALL of these publications. Ask at BSU's reference desk for help.

Shakespeare Quarterly. Published 5 times per year. PR2885 .S63

Shakespeare Studies. Annual. "...research, criticism, and reviews." PR2885 .S64

Shakespeare Survey. "An annual survey of Shakespearian....production." PR2888 .C33

Shakespearean Criticism: excerpts from the criticism... Irregular. ref PR2965 .S43

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Film Journals

Cinema Journal. Quarterly. PN1993 .S62

Film Quarterly. Quarterly. PN1993 .J66

Films in Review. Monthly (except bimonthly, June/July and Aug./Sept.). PN1993 .F6473

Journal of popular film and television: JPF&T. Quarterly. PN1993 .J66

Literature film quarterly. Quarterly. PN1995.3 .L57

Sight and sound. Monthly, May 1991-current; Quarterly, from 1967 to 1990/91. PN1993 .S56

For a comprehensive source of periodicals: International film, radio, and television journals. Anthony Slide, ed. 1985. ref PN1993 .I5

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Internet Sources: annotated Web sites

Internet Movie Database Enter "Shakespeare", and watch the number of items it returns. (And, they missed a bunch!!)

Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet, by Terry A. Gray This annotated guide to the scholarly resources on the Internet offers biographical materials and various editions of Shakespeare's works. Provides access to Shakespearean criticism and information on teaching Shakespeare's works. Lists literary journals, Renaissance resources, and sources of information on Elizabethan performance. Links to Internet search engines, and an article on using them, as well as to mirror versions of the site.

Shakespeare and the Globe Offers a history of London's Globe theater, photographs, and on-line documents. Describes the rebuilding of the original Globe with information on performances of Shakespeare's plays at the Globe and its current uses.

Shakespeare on the Internet: Sites of Interest, by Professor Michael Best: A sampling of scholarly Web resources for early modern literary studies.

World Wide Arts Resources: Theater Resources Features an index of theater resources on the WWW, sorted into such sub-directories as academic, magazines, musicals, Broadway, nonprofit organizations, playhouses, community theaters, tickets, schedules, production, opera, Shakespeare, and technical stage resources.

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Shakespeare Associations and Organizations

Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, S.E., Washington D.C. 20003-1094 Tel: (202) 544-4600

Globe Theatre, London.

Shakespeare Association of America (SAA), University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250 Tel: (410) 455-6788, Fax: (410) 455-1063, e-mail:

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This Shakespeare on Screen Guide was created for
Albertson Library, Boise State University (Idaho) by Mark Andre Singer,
School of Information and Library Studies
, SUNY Buffalo,
Spring, 1998. Last updated on May 12th, 1999.