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Provides digital access to prompt books from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC.
Additional Information:
The Folger Shakespeare Library has collected prompt books (scripts of the plays marked up for performance) of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as prompt books of other plays performed by influential Shakespearean actors, since the library’s founders, Henry and Emily Folger, purchased their first copy. Alongside these prompt books, the Folger has acquired other material related to performance, such as playbills, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, theatrical account books, photographs, sketches, costumes, props, cue sheets, lighting plots, musical scores, and the correspondence and writings of Shakespearean actors, directors, and managers.

This resource features over 1,000 prompt books of 34 of Shakespeare’s plays, including editions owned by notable actors and directors such as Charles and John Philip Kemble, Henry Irving, Ellen Terry and Laurence Olivier. Of these 1,000 prompt books, approximately 10% are for Hamlet, and 6% are for Merchant of Venice and Macbeth, respectively. Seventeen performances of particular cultural importance have been selected as case studies, featuring additional archival material such as photographs, costume designs and music scores. These case studies include David Garrick’s revised 1772 production of Hamlet, Henry Irving’s famous 1879 production of The Merchant of Venice, and Laurence Olivier’s Academy Award-winning cinema release of Hamlet in 1948.

Coverage: 17th-20th Century

Vendor: Adam Matthew

Producer: Adam Matthew

Interlibrary Loan Type: Secure Electronic Transmission Permitted

Simultaneous User Limit: Unlimited simultaneous users