Digital Humanities

Shakespeare's Globe Archive Undergoeth Digitization

London's Shakespeare's Globe is working with Adam Matthew Digital to convert its scholarly resources into digital content.

The theater organization, which includes an archive library and education division, is dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's works and the playhouse for which he wrote more than 400 years ago. The material covered under the agreement consists of multiple documents related to the research undertaken by founder Sam Wanamaker to rebuild the theater as closely as possible to the original version put up in 1599, as well as archival content related to every performance produced in the recreated theater, including:

  • Prompt books with staging information from directors, actors and backstage crews;
  • Wardrobe "bibles" with photos, sketches and draft costume ideas;
  • Music files;
  • Audience reports that cover the weather, how the play was received and how many "fainters" were in the audience;
  • Performance programs;
  • Photographs covering productions, events and the theaters; and
  • Architectural research notes and drawings.

"This project has come at a perfect time in not only the Globe's life but also in the life of academic research, which is increasingly preoccupied with performance history and practice," said Farah Karim-Cooper, Globe Education's head of higher education and research. "We couldn't be more thrilled that Adam Matthew will make it possible for scholars and students around the world to engage directly with the material history of Shakespeare's Globe."

This isn't the first theater project undertaken by Adam Matthew. The Sage Publishing-owned company has also produced, "Eighteenth Century Drama: Censorship, Society and the Stage" and "Shakespeare in Performance: Prompt Books from the Folger Shakespeare Library."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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