Timeless Texts, Cutting-Edge Code:<BR>Folger Digital Texts Launches <BR>with Twelve of Shakespeare’s Best-Known Plays-Folger Shakespeare Library
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Timeless Texts, Cutting-Edge Code:
Folger Digital Texts Launches
with Twelve of Shakespeare’s Best-Known Plays

Press Contacts:
Garland Scott
(202) 675-0342

Amy Arden
(202) 675-0326

The Folger Shakespeare Library is pleased to announce the launch today of Folger Digital Texts at www.folgerdigitaltexts.org.

Folger Digital Texts offers meticulously edited, accurate texts—drawn from the Folger Editions, the leading Shakespeare texts used in American classrooms—in a beautifully readable format with the added power of in-depth, behind-the-scenes coding. The texts—including full source code—is a free, online resource for students and teachers, theatergoers, scholars, and others.

The first Folger Digital Texts include a dozen of Shakespeare's best known plays, including Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Tempest. Throughout 2013, we will be adding to Folger Digital Texts until it includes all of Shakespeare's plays as well as his poems.

Read, Search, and Enjoy
Users can read the plays online, download PDFs for offline reading, search for keywords within a single play or the whole corpus, and navigate by act, scene, line, or the new Folger throughline numbers. Every word, space, and piece of punctuation has its own place online

Plays are also displayed with the same page numbers as in the Folger Shakespeare Library print editions to allow the two to be easily used together in classrooms.

Download the Code
The full source code of the texts may be downloaded by researchers and developers at no cost for noncommercial use—a major time-saver for scholarly research, app development, and other projects.

By sharing the coded text, the Folger hopes to significantly advance digital humanities research into the works of Shakespeare and other writers of his time.

“We are delighted that we are now making the complete text of the twelve most popular plays available to anyone with a web connection,” notes Folger Director Michael Witmore. “The most widely-used electronic version of the plays–the Globe Edition (1864)–is over a century old. I believe the Folger Digital Texts will replace it as the electronic edition of record for Shakespeare's plays."

Folger Digital Texts are a companion to the Folger Shakespeare Library print editions and e-books, published by Simon and Schuster and edited by Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine, which include essays, glosses, notes, and illustrations from the Folger collection in addition to the play text.

The Folger Digital Texts development team includes Rebecca Niles, editor and interface architect, and Michael Poston, editor and encoding architect, with David Schalkwyk, the Folger's director of research, managing the project.

Niles, a research fellow at the Folger, holds a Masters from the University of Toronto’s iSchool. Her research focuses on the intersection of textual scholarship and digital technology. Prior to coming to the Folger, Niles acted as the Assistant Managing Editor for the online journal, Architectures of the Book.


Poston, a member of the Folger’s IT team, has programmed and designed numerous digital projects for the Folger, including scholarly resources like the Union First-Line Manuscript Index, a paleography transcription site, and tools for teaching the history of  the book, as well as digital displays for Folger Exhibitions.


They welcome your feedback at folgertexts@folger.edu.


Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-class center for scholarship, learning, culture, and the arts. It is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and a primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period (1500–1750). The Folger is an internationally recognized research library offering advanced scholarly programs in the humanities; an innovator in the preservation of rare materials; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K–12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs—theater, music, poetry, exhibitions, lectures, and family programs. By promoting understanding of Shakespeare and his world, Folger Shakespeare Library reminds us of the enduring influence of his works, the formative effects of the Renaissance on our own time, and the power of the written and spoken word. A gift to the American people from industrialist Henry Clay Folger, the Folger Shakespeare Library—located one block east of the U.S. Capitol—opened in 1932. Learn more at www.folger.edu

Press release issued on December 6, 2012.
Links of Interest:
Folger Digital Texts  

Press may request images online.
For public and scholarly use, please contact the
Folger photography department.

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