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The books on Shakespeare are located on the main floor in the PR (British Literature) section - PR 2753-PR3112. Sometimes just browsing around can help you figure out what approaches scholars have taken to Shakespeare's works. Skim tables of contents to see what's inside. Remind yourself it's time well spent because it will give you ideas. Chill. Sit on the floor if you want. Go in pairs and make noise. We don't mind.
Helpful clue: newer books have the year of publication as the last part of the call number. That might help you focus on the not-too-crusty old stuff.
Searching for Shakespeare
Some things to know about the catalog: you can limit by year of publication, to print books, and (if you're greedy) search libraries worldwide and request books from other libraries. It takes a few days, but it's free.
MLA International Bibliography
This is a huge database for literature. It can be overwhelming, but try limiting a search by thematic words and to publications within the past 10-15 years. Because it's so obsessively complete, a lot of what you find would have to be obtained through interlibrary loan. It's pretty fast. Like Amazon without the bills.
This archive of digitized journal backfiles also doesn't include the most recent issue of journals, and take care you're not relying on criticism that is really, really old school (like 1920 - the way we think about literature has changed). But it includes important journals in the field like PMLA and Shakespeare Quarterly. Be sure to scroll down and limit your search to language and literature and to recent years. (There's also a film category if that's an angle you're exploring.)
The Essential Shakespeare by
Call Number: Reference PR2894 .C53 1993
Publication Date: 1993-05-01
Though dated, this little books provides a handy way to skim selected abstracts of published criticism by play. It's a decent way to get ideas about how people have approached Shakespeare, though it doesn't include recent scholarship
Is That Even Legal?
These days he would be so busted. Luckily, there was no copyright law when Shakespeare was ripping off, er, being inspired by others. Curious where he got his ideas? It's all here.
Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare by
Call Number: Reference PR2952 .B8
Publication Date: 1957-11-22
This set is shelved in Reference, on the Beck Hall side of the main floor. There are some other fun Shakespeare reference books in that area, too.
Ask Me Anything
It's a busy time of year (when is it not?) and you may feel stressed. Shoot me an email if you can't find something, something seems broken, or you need a shoulder to cry on because you're feeling tempest-tossed. We can communicate over email (fister @ gustavus.edu) or meet in person, as you like it. The other librarians are happy to help, too, but I may be Shakespeare's biggest fan in the library, so I'm interested in what you're working on.
Not Like I'm Obsessed Or Anything
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License