Union First Line Index

What is the Union First Line Index?

Hosted by the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Union First Line Index provides a database of the first lines of manuscript verse held by contributing institutions. This enables researchers to work across institutions in the course of their inquiries.

The index draws from various institutions and individuals, such as the Bodleian Library (Oxford), Beinecke (Osborn Collection), the British Library, Harvard, the Huntington Library, the Folger, and others. 

How can you use it?

The Index is free and open to all: scholars, students, and enthusiasts. Enter keywords as search terms and limit by facets such as Shelfmark or Women Only, and limit searches to specific institutions as relevant. 

Please note that you may find inconsistencies and ambiguities in the Index, since the contributing libraries and individuals have followed different styles. First lines are often modernized and cannot be trusted as direct transcriptions.

Want to learn more?

Send your questions and comments about the Union First Line Index to firstlines@folger.edu