Inspiring Sites

The Folger Shakespeare Library

Without equal, the most thorough and comprehensive website on this subject. You can ‘meet’ all 82 First Folios in the Folger library and access their ‘Shakespeare Unlimited’ podcasts, ‘Shakespeare & Beyond’ blog, ‘The Collation’ blog and the Folger YouTube channel. Vast in content, rich in quality, this site explores every corner of the First Folio story and much more.

The British Library

A clear, comprehensive user-friendly site that provides a gateway to the Shakespeare-related collection at the British Library beyond their five First Folios.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Straightforward and well-written, this site looks at all things Shakespeare, including comprehensive act-by-act summaries of each play. It also shares details of the three First Folios in Stratford. 

Meisei University

Although dated in appearance, and awkward in its working, this site offers comprehensive content and early electronic access to all four First Folios in its collection, plus Ben Jonson’s 1616 Folio. 

The Bodleian First Folio

Full and free access to a clear digital copy of the Bodleian’s ‘re-purchased’ First Folio.

Shakespeare’s Words

A Crystal-clear and indispensable companion to student, scholar and Shakespeare fan. Each playscript is presented as it was in the First Folio, next to the modern text, with definitions of old or unusual words. All Shakespeare’s poems and Sonnets are there too. Well worth the minimal cost. Built and maintained by David and Ben Crystal.

Shakespeare Census

This site attempts to locate and describe all extant copies of all editions of Shakespeare’s works through 1700. It has a separate section for First Folios.

Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe is home to two theatres that approximate the outdoor and indoor playing spaces for which Shakespeare’s plays were written, within walking distance of their original locations. Their website introduces these spaces, including a 360° virtual tour of the iconic Globe Theatre, as well as aspects of early-modern London, audiences and playwriting.

Virtual Paul’s Cross Project

This site presents a virtual recreation of Paul’s Churchyard – the area to the north-east of St Paul’s Cathedral that had become the centre of the English book trade during the 16th century – at about the same time that the First Folio was published.

Shakespeare Documented

The largest and most authoritative collection of primary-source materials documenting Shakespeare’s life, bringing together  manuscript and print references in a very easy-to-use website. Of particular relevance to the First Folio, it shows the plays’ entries in the Stationers’ Register and the early quarto editions. 

Shakespearean London Theatres

The free downloadable walking map and illustrated guide on this website tell the story behind the vast theatrical scene that thrilled London in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, and from which the groundbreaking folios of Jonson and Shakespeare emerged.

Shakespeare at Home

A site for all ages with ideas of how you can make Shakespeare a part of your life.