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Finding books on Shakespeare and videos of performances
The tools listed below will help you locate books about Shakespeare and videos of performances of his work. For tips for how to connect to these resources when you're not on campus, please consult this Guide to Authenticate to online resources.
Streaming video of Shakespeare performances
Below is a sampling of some of the streaming performances we have of the plays you'll be studying this semester.
The Merchant of Venice
Production from the Royal Shakespeare Company with Makram J. Khoury as Shylock, directed by Polly Findlay.
The Merchant of Venice (1981)
Production from 1981 from BBC Worldwide, directed by Jack Gold.
The Merchant of Venice (1995)
Production from 1995 from Bullfrog Films, directed by Eric Weinthal.
Much Ado About Nothing
Production from Digital Theatre with David Tennant as Benedick and Catherine Tate as Beatrice, directed by Josie Rourke.
Much Ado About Nothing (1972)
Production from 1972 from the Broadway Theatre Archive with Sam Waterson as Benedick, directed by Nick Havinga and Alfred Joseph Antoon.
Much Ado About Nothing (1984)
Production from 1984 from BBC Worldwide, directed by Stuart Burge.
Production from the Royal Shakespeare Company with Huge Quarshie as Othello, directed by Iqbal Khan.
Production from Digital Theatre with Victor Oshin as Othello, directed by RIchard Twyman.
Production from 1981 from BBC Worldwide, directed by Sir Jonathan Miller.
From 2006 from Bullfrog Films, directed by Dug Rotstein.
Production from 2013 from the National Theatre with Adrian Lester as Othello, directed by Nicholas Hytner.
The Winter's Tale (1981)
Production from 1981 from BBC Worldwide, directed by Jane Howell.
The Winter's Tale (2018)
Production from 2018 from the National Theatre with Gabby Wong as Perdita, directed by Justin Audibert.
Other Streaming Video Packages
The streaming video packages below contain some performances of Shakespeare's plays by different companies. They also contain documentaries and interviews about some of the productions, which can be useful in getting insights into how actors, directors, and designers approach working on the Bard.
Academic Video Online [AVON]
Streaming video service with documentary, instructional, and feature films from producers such as BBC, Documentary Educational Resources (DER), Icarus, PBS, and Sony Pictures Classics.
Digital Theatre Plus
A streaming video platform of theatre, dance, and concert performances from around the world (although primarily from the UK). Includes several documentaries on different aspects of staging Shakespeare as well as performances.
Drama Online: The National Theatre Collection
Streaming video collection of performances from the National Theatre in London.
Streaming video service with documentary and feature films from producers such as Criterion, Documentary Educational Resources, New Day Films, Media Education, California Newsreel, PBS and others.
Theatre in Video
Streaming video of theatrical performances and documentaries.
Early English Books Online (EEBO)
Early English Books Online contains scanned reproductions of the works of thousands of authors published prior to 1700 in all fields and genres. Overall dates of coverage: 1475-1700.
Other Sources for E-books
Expanded and Free Resources During COVID-19 Closure
Some publishers are temporarily making their e-books available during the pandemic. Check this page for details.
Searches the full text of books scanned from publisher and library partners. Full text is mostly only available for older books (pre-1922), but TOCs are usually available for all books.
Offers reading access of content to the fullest extent allowable by U.S. copyright law. Due to COVID-19, some additional content may be temporarily available. In order to access this content, you must be logged in with your MIT account, and texts not out of copyright may only be available for an hour at a time and not downloadable.
- Consult this video to learn more about using HathiTrust to locate electronic versions of print books held by the MIT Libraries.
Contains downloads to out-of-copyright books (published before 1932). Also allows access to some more recent volumes.
Comparative Media Studies, Literature, Philosophy, and Theater Arts Librarian
More ways to get help
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Connecting from off-campus
Special thanks to Kelly Ng, who helped with many aspects of the development of this page, including the list of productions.