First Folios Compared – For the first time, Shakespeare open for scrutiny like never before

We are delighted to share the news of this online resource from off the press from the publisher Adam Matthew Digital.

First Folios Compared is an Open Access website created and hosted by AM. The site brings together digitised copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio, sourced from a wide range of institutions around the world, who kindly agreed to contribute their digital version to this project.

“As well as providing the digital images, each institution kindly shared any existing metadata connected to the document, which we have amalgamated to maximise the efficacy of the search and filtering functions in the site.”-About the project

First Folios Compared was built in 2023 in order to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the famous book’s publication and to create a unique research opportunity for all – the chance to compare over 50 First Folios together in the same place for the first time in history.

Professor Emma Smith, Hertford College, Oxford writes: “Although (or perhaps because) Shakespeare’s First Folio is probably the world’s most famous – and studied – secular book, there is still a real opportunity to make discoveries about individual copies. Take the Craven copy, for example: only recently identified as a First, rather than a later, Folio, it has hardly been studied at all. More people have looked in awe at these copies as high-value objects kept for senior researchers or behind glass for museum-style viewing, than have actually turned each page looking for details. First Folios Compared allows you to do this, at scale, for the first time.  “

Mirron Wills as Henry IV

You may also be interested in King’s College Cambridge’s First Folio online on Cambridge University Digital Library

Check out as well the Shakespeare resources available to you thanks to Cambridge University Libraries, including critical editions and videos of current theatre productions.

RSC Live Collection 3 – Five new plays on Drama Online

Drama Online have just launched the RSC Live Collection 3 with five plays, with two more coming in the summer. As part of our subscription to the RSC Live Collection, we now have access to the following plays: 

Henry VI: Part One 

Henry VI: Part Two

Henry VI: Part Three

The Comedy of Errors

The Winter’s Tale

The RSC Live Collection offers students worldwide their own seat in the renowned Royal Shakespeare Company theatre. It was launched on Drama Online with 17 films of live productions performed between 2013 and 2017. These included the cutting-edge 2016-17 production of The Tempest starring Simon Russell Beale.

A further 10 films of productions performed in 2018 and 2019 were later added to the collection, including Twelfth Night starring comedy icon Adrian Edmondson.

7 more films are being added to the collection in 2023, 5 of which are now live, including Henry VI: Part One, Henry VI: Part Two, Henry VI: Part Three, The Comedy of Errors and The Winter’s Tale. Following later this year are Richard III and All’s Well That Ends Well.

Visit the English Faculty LibGuide for access to more resources on Shakespeare.


E-resources Advent Calendar Window 19 : Drama Online – Six new video collections

Have you seen what’s new this Christmas?

We are very pleased to announce a new suite of video collections on Drama Online, which explore theatre traditions from around the world and offer practical insight into the industry from leading writers and directors. These curated video collections are designed to enhance and expand your theatre teaching and research:

Shakespeare Video Collection

Playwrights and Practitioners Video Collection

Theatre Making and Performance Training Video Collection

British, American and Australian Theatre Video Collection

Asian Theatre Video Collection

European Theatre Video Collection


We hope you enjoy Harry Burton’s unique 2007 documentary Working With Pinter, featuring an interview with the playwright himself and rare footage of Pinter rehearsing extracts from his own plays.

Screenshot of Drama Online


Visit the English Faculty LibGuide for access to more resources available to you in English.

E-resources Advent Calendar Window 17 : Christmas is not Christmas without –

Dickens, but did you know his works, journalism, letters, diaries, and more can all be found online for Cambridge University members at Oxford Scholarly Editions Online?

Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused—in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened—by the recurrence Christmas. There are people who will tell you that is not to them what it used to be—that each succeeding has found some cherished hope or happy prospect of the year before dimmed or passed away—and that the present only serves to remind them of reduced circumstances and straitened incomes—of the feasts they once bestowed on hollow friends, and of the cold looks that meet them now, in adversity and misfortune. Never heed such dismal reminiscences.

Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz (1837): 45. Christmas Festivities (1835)
in Paul Schlicke and David Hewitt (eds), The Oxford Edition of Charles Dickens: Sketches by Boz

“The Second of The Three Spirits” or “Scrooge’s third Visitor” John Leech 1843

New E-Resource : British Literary Manuscripts Online, Medieval and Renaissance

We are pleased to announce that Cambridge University members now have access to British Literary Manuscripts Online, Medieval and Renaissance via this direct link.

Please note British Literary Manuscripts Online is published in two parts. We have access to the earlier part only (Medieval and Renaissance).

From the publisher website:

British Literary Manuscripts Online, Medieval and Renaissance presents facsimile images of a range of literary manuscripts — including letters, poems, stories, plays, chronicles, religious writings, and other materials — from roughly 1120 to 1660.

Consisting primarily of works in Middle and Early Modern English, British Literary Manuscripts Online: Medieval and Renaissance is an essential resource for any student of those historical eras. Scholars can have online access to the original manuscripts of seminal literary, religious, and philosophical texts and trace the prevailing social and cultural attitudes of the times through important historical documents like the letters of Alcuin and Lanfranc and the chronicles of Waverly, Glastonbury, St Martin’s, and Lichfield.

Also available to access via the Databases A-Z.

Access to this archive is enabled initially up to 31 December 2022 only.

Poetry Review

New on ejournals@cambridge A-Z : Poetry Review

Cambridge University members now have online access to the Poetry Review (2013 to present) on the Exact Editions platform.

The archive can be access on-campus here or off-campus here.

poetry review-1

From the publisher website:

The Poetry Review, published quarterly by The Poetry Society, is home to the world’s best contemporary poetry and writing about poetry. Since first publication in 1912, it has featured new poems, essays and reviews by internationally renowned and emerging poets, both Nobel Prize winners and newcomers. Famous contributors include T.S. Eliot, Allen Ginsberg, Derek Walcott, Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay and Alice Oswald.

Also available to access via iDiscover.

New home for BBC Shakespeare Archive

The BBC Shakespeare Archive Resource has been moved from to a new permanent home with the Educational Recordings Agency, ERA.

Hundreds of new programmes and performances have been added, bringing the site up to date, and making the resource better than ever.  New programming will be added on a regular basis. The collection of stills images are not available on the ERA site.

You will need to re-register on the ERA site to gain access.

For more information about access, contact

About ERA

ERA supports the education sector by making it easy for schools, colleges and universities to harness the power of audio-visual broadcast material for non-commercial educational purposes through provision of their licence. The ERA Licence enables educational establishments to legally make recordings or copies of TV and radio programmes for educational use. 

In addition to the BBC Shakespeare Archive, ERA have produced a collection of classroom-ready resources for licensees to use, including 5000+ curated clips linked to key curriculum areas, themed playlists, subject collections and more.

עברית: ההצגה “מידה כנגד מידה”, תיאטרון החאן, בבימויו של גדי רול, תיאטרון החאן, ירושלים, תפאורה: רוני תורן, מעצבת תלבושות: עינת ניר קוש, תאורה: פליס רוס, מוזיקה: אלדד לידור ;1998English: The play “Measure for Measure”, directed by Gadi Roll, Scenery: Roni Toren, Lighting: Felice Ross, Music: Eldad Entertainment; at the Khan Theatre, Jerusalem, in 1998.

Daily Star Archive added to the UK Press Online

The Daily Star Archive is now available to members of the University of Cambridge as part of UK Press Online.

The Daily Star Archive archive is a fully searchable database of the newspaper. Here you can view, download and print pages from Daily Star newspaper dating back to 2000. The Daily Star Sunday is also available, complete from 2002.

The ukpressonline database is a spectacular resource for historians, publishers and the public – anyone who wants to explore history as seen by the reporters and commentators who were there.

With every page available in thumbnail, small preview, full-size view and ready-to-print PDF with live text, and page-by-page browse of editions, this is one of the easiest on-line newspaper archives to explore.

Anyone can search by name, word or by date for free, to view all available thumbnails; with a free registration, you can use the Advanced Search; with a subscription to an archive, you can view, download and print pages at full size.

You can find a newspaper from an important date – which could be your birthday. (If you want to know what happened on the day you were born, search the day after your birthday.) Or search for all editions covering your chosen topic, team or personality’s greatest moments.

Access via the A-Z Databases, the Newspapers LibGuide, or the Newspapers website.

Text from the Archive website.

New e-resource: Exeter Medieval Online

Now online for University of Cambridge members, Exeter Medieval Online comprises all existing and newly published books in the printed series Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies and Exeter Studies in Medieval Europe.

The acclaimed Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies series makes a significant contribution to modern scholarship in the field of medieval and early Tudor studies by publishing high-quality new or revised scholarly editions and translations of important texts, and by making available critical and contextual studies by leading scholars in the field. It also publishes innovative work on the History of the Book in medieval Britain.

Exeter Studies in Medieval Europe explores the history of societies, culture, the arts and the environment in the Middle Ages. Complementing the renowned Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies series, it has a chronological range of c. 500-1500, a broad European focus and a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Access via the Cambridge University Libraries E-resources A-Z. Titles are in the process of being added to iDiscover.

First page of The Wanderer from the Exeter Book

Edinburgh University Press journals collection : access until 31st December 2020

All 63 Edinburgh University Press journals (back to 2000) are now available to access until 31st December 2020 as a trial resource.

If you would like to send your feedback about any of these journals you can do so via the online form. Feedback will be used to help decide on new eresource acquisitions.

We have subscription to 27 University of Edinburgh Press journals and now have access from 2000 to present (for the journals that include volumes back to 2000) to all 63 titles available from the publisher.

Links to all the additional journals, and their articles, will be added to iDiscover shortly.

Journals that have been added include:

Journal of Victorian Culture (2000 to present)

Global Energy Law and Sustainability (2020 (volume 1))

Britain and the World (2008 to present)

Northern Scotland (2000 to present )

Word Structures (2008 to present)

Image credit: “Balmoral Hotel and Edinburgh Castle, New Town, Edinburgh, Scotland” by Billy Wilson on Flickr –