Research Guide to Shakespeare

| Citing Sources | Reference Books | CONSULS Catalog | Online Databases | Locating Periodicals | Interlibrary Loan | Questions? |

Citing Sources to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a form of cheating which may lower the grade you receive on your writing assignment. You must cite the source of any direct quotation and any facts or ideas you obtained from a source other than yourself. For more information about how to avoid plagiarism, please see this brief video from Bainbridge College in YouTube: Plagiarism: How to Avoid It (

For tips on citation format, please see MLA Formatting and Style courtesy of the OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab (

Reference Books for Background Information

Reference books are shelved by Library of Congress call number in the reference stacks on the first floor of the Ruth Haas Library. To learn about LC call numbers, please watch the brief video Reading a Call Number in YouTube (courtesy of the Douglas College Library). Reference books may not be checked out, but photocopiers are available for student use on the first and third floors of the Haas Library.

Background on Drama and Theatre

International Dictionary of Theatre. 3 volumes.Ref PN 2035.I49
Cambridge Guide to TheatreRef PN 2035.C27 1995
The Drama DictionaryRef PN 1625.H64 1988
The Elizabethan Stage. 4 volumes.Ref PN 2589.C4
Oxford Companion to the Theatre. 4th edition.Ref PN 2035.H3 1983
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance. 2 volumes.Ref PN 2035.O94 2003

Encyclopedias, Handbooks, and Guides to Shakespeare

All Things Shakespeare: An Encyclopedia of Shakespeare's World. 2 volumes.Ref PR 2892.O56 2002
A Companion to Shakespeare and PerformanceRef PR 3091.C64 2005
A Companion to Shakespeare's Works. 4 volumes.Ref PR 2976.C572 2003
Critical Companion to William Shakespeare. 2 volumes.Ref PR 2892.B69 2005
Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare. 4 volumes.Ref PR 2976.G739 2005
Music from the Age of Shakespeare: A Cultural HistoryRef ML 286.2.L67 2003
New Century Shakespeare HandbookRef PR 2892.C4
The Oxford Companion to ShakespeareRef PR 2892.O94 2001
The Plays of Shakespeare: A Thematic GuideRef PR 2987.C28 2001
Reader's Encyclopedia of ShakespeareRef PR 2892.C3
Shakespeare: A Study and Research GuideRef PR 2894.B44 1995
Shakespeare A-ZRef PR 2892.B69 1990
Shakespeare for Students. 3 volumes.Ref PR 2987.S47 2007
Shakespeare's World and Work. 3 volumes.Ref PR 2892.S56 2001

Dictionaries, Glossaries, and Concordances

Complete Systematic Concordance to the Works of Shakespeare (Spevack) 6 volumes.Ref Ref PR 2892.S6
Dictionary of Quotations from ShakespeareRef PR 2892.S4177 1992
Dictionary of Shakespeare (McConnell)Ref PR 2892.M27 2000
A Dictionary of Shakespeare (Wells)Ref PR 2892.W43 2005
A Glossary of Shakespeare's Sexual LanguageRef 2892.W55 1997
Harvard Concordance to ShakespeareRef PR 2892.S61
Pronouncing Dictionary of Shakespearean Proper NamesRef PR 3081.I65 1994
Pronouncing Shakespeare's Words: A Guide from A to ZoundsRef PR 3081.C87 1998
Shakespearean Language: A Guide for Actors and StudentsRef PR 3072.O34 2002
A Shakespeare Glossary (Onions)Ref PR 2892.O6 1986
Shakespeare Lexicon. 2 volumes.Ref 2892.S4
Shakespeare Name DictionaryRef PR 2892.D33 1995
Shakespeare Well-Versed: A Rhyming Guide to All His PlaysRef PR 2976.M765 2004
Shakespeare's Books: A Dictionary of Shakespeare's SourcesRef PR 2892.G55 2004
Shakespeare's Language: A Glossay of Unfamiliar Words.... Second edition.Ref PR 2892.S447 2008
Shakespeare's Theatre: A Dictionary of His Stage ContextRef PR 3095.R53 2002
Shakespeare's Words: A Glossary & Language CompanionRef PR 2892.C78 2002

Biographical Sources

British Writers (see volume 1)Ref PR 85.B688 1979
Notable Poets (see volume 3)Ref PN 1021.N68 1998
Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical DictionaryRef CT 759.R46 2001
William Shakespeare: A Documentary VolumeRef PR 2893.W55 2002
World Poets (see volume 3)Ref PN 1021.W67 2000

Literary Criticism: The Plays

Shakespearean CriticismAvailable in Literature Criticism Online
Critical Survey of Drama. Second revised edition (see volume 6).Ref PN 1625.C68 2003
Essential Shakespeare: An Annotated Bibliography of Major Modern StudiesRef PR 2894.C53 1993
New Moulton's Library of Literary Criticism (volume 2 covers Shakespeare)Ref PR 85.N39 1985
Shakespeare Index: An Annotated Bibliography of Critical Articles: 1959-1983Ref PR 2894.S25 1992
Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage. 4 volumes.Ref PR 2976.V5
Shakespeare the Playwright: A Companion...Ref PR 2976.C27 1991

Literary Criticism: The Poetry

Poetry Criticism Available in Literature Criticism Online
A Companion to Shakespeare's SonnetsRef PR 2848.C66 2007
Critical Survey of Poetry. Fourth edition (see volume 2, part 3).Ref PN 1021.C74 2003
Essential Shakespeare: An Annotated Bibliography of Major Modern Studies (see p. 121)Ref PR 2894.C53 1993
New Moulton's Library of Literary Criticism (see volume 2, p. 1009)Ref PR 85.N39 1985

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CONSULS Online Catalog for Books and Media

CONSULS catalog workstations are located in the Reference Area on the first floor, and on each of the other floors of the Haas Library. You may logon to CONSULS via the WCSU Libraries Homepage at or directly at For more detailed instructions on searching, please see the yellow CONSULS flyer on the display rack on the first floor.

Please Note: CONSULS ignores upper and lower case and you may omit punctuation, except the hyphen which must be replaced by a space.


Select Title at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type as much of the title as you remember in correct word order. In CONSULS, you may omit "a," "an," or "the" at the beginning of a title.

Example: If It Were Done: Macbeth and Tragic Action (press ENTER or RETURN)
Or Just: if it were done (press ENTER)

If your TITLE search does not retrieve an entry for a separately published edition of the work, select the Words Search option to re-execute the search as a Keywords search, then scan the CONTENTS field of each entry for the title of the work you need.


Select Author at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the writer's name last-name-first. Correct spelling is important.

Example: calderwood james (press ENTER)
Or just: calderwood j (ENTER)

To limit search results to items owned by WCSU, click on Limit/Sort, then select WCSU under "Where Item Is Located."


Select Subject at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the writer's name last-name-first. Correct spelling is important. To limit results to items owned by WCSU, use the Limit/Sort option.

Example: shakespeare william (press ENTER)
Or just: shakespeare w (ENTER)

CONSULS will display a list of Library of Congress subject headings that begin with the writer's name:

Shakespeare William 1564 1616 (many subdivisions)
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Authorship
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Bibliography
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Biography
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Characters
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Comedies
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Criticism and interpretation
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Dramatic production
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Film and video adaptations
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Histories
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Influence
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Language
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Philosophy
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Political and social views
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Religion
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Sonnets
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Sources
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Study and teaching
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Stage history
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Style
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Technique
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Tragedies
Shakespeare William 1564 1616--Tragicomedies

PLEASE NOTE: Personal name headings may also be subdivided by the titles of individual works:

Shakespeare William 1564 1616. As You Like It
Shakespeare William 1564 1616. Macbeth
Shakespeare William 1564 1616. Richard II


Select Subject at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the Library of Congress subject heading which best describes your topic. Correct spelling and word order are important. The complete list of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is published in a set of big red books available in the Reference Area on the first floor of the Haas Library.

Example: Witchcraft in literature--History (press ENTER)
Or just: witchcraft in literature (ENTER)


Select Keyword(s) at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the words which best describe your topic, in any order.

Example: shakespeare* and macbeth (press ENTER)
Narrower: shakespeare* and macbeth and (supernatural or witch* or magic*) (ENTER)
Broader: shakespeare* and (supernatural or magic* or witch*) (ENTER)

Example: (symbol* or image*) and kingship and richard ii (press ENTER)
Narrower: (mirror or jewel* or sceptre or crown) and kingship and richard ii (ENTER)
Broader: shakespeare* and kingship and (symbol* or image*) (ENTER)

Example: iago and (motiv* or intention* or goal*) (press ENTER)
Narrower: iago and (hate or hatred or jealous* or envy) (ENTER)
Broader: shakespeare* and othello and iago (ENTER)

Use the * (asterisk) as a truncation symbol to retrieve variant forms of a word root. Use the Boolean OR to expand your search by including synonyms and related terms. When using two different Boolean commands in the same search statement ("and " and "or" in the preceding examples) you must include parentheses to indicate which command is to be performed first.


If the item you need is owned by one of the other CSU Libraries (CCSU, SCSU, or ECSU) but not by WCSU, or if WCSU's copy is checked out, you may request the item via INTER-CAMPUS LOAN by clicking on Request at the full record display in CONSULS. Then type your University network username and password. Be sure to specify a pickup location (Haas or Young Library) before initiating your request. If you need assistance with Inter-Campus Loan, please contact the Circulation Desk at (203) 837-9100.

There is a limit of ten (10) Inter-Campus Loan requests per person. Videos are available via Inter-Campus Loan. Please allow 3-4 days for delivery to the Circulation Desk at the Haas Library. Items borrowed via Inter-Campus Loan may be renewed for another borrowing period if no one has placed a HOLD on the item.

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Online Databases for Finding Periodical Articles

To learn how to distinguish scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals from magazines, please see the brief YouTube tutorial Popular Magazines vs Scholarly Journals, courtesy of the library at the University of Detroit-Mercy.

Coverage: Issue number one to within 5-6 years of present
Location: Under Articles & Databases: Most Popular on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Full-text of core scholarly journals in more than 50 disciplines, including Shakespeare Quarterly (1950-2010) and Renaissance Quarterly (1967-2015).
Academic Search Premier in EBSCOhost
Coverage: 1990 - present (earlier for some publication)
Location: Under Articles & Databases: Most Popular on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Indexes over 8,000 newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals in most fields, with over 4,000 available in full-text, including Shakespeare Studies (1975 to present).
MLA International Bibliography
Coverage: 1963 - present
Location: Under Articles & Databases A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Indexes books, book essays, journal articles, and Ph.D. dissertations in literature, language, linguistics, and folklore. Some linked full-text. No abstracts.
Literature Criticism Online from Gale Research
Coverage: Includes the series Shakespearean Criticism (SC), Drama Criticism (DC), Poetry Criticism (PC), etc.
Location: Under Articles & Databases: A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Excerpts and in some cases the full-text of articles from scholarly journals and essays published in English-language books.
Films on Demand from Films Media Group
Coverage: Streaming video and multimedia files.
Location: Select OCLC FirstSearch under Articles & Databases: A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Educational documentaries in a wide range of subjects, including language and literature. Keywords searchable.

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Locating Periodicals in the Haas Library

To find out if WCSU subscribes to a specific periodical in print or online:

1. Select Journal Title at the CONSULS main menu, then type the name of the periodical (example: shakespeare quarterly) and press ENTER. If a title list appears on the screen, select the desired title, then look inside the box to find WCSU holdings. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to see if WCSU owns backfiles on microfilm or microfiche.

2. To find out if a given periodical is available in full-text in one or more of WCSU's online databases, search the title of the publication (example: shakespeare studies) in the Journal Finder available under Articles & Databases on the WCSU Libraries Homepage (

How to Use Interlibrary Loan

If the CSU Libraries do not own the book you need, or if WCSU does not subscribe to the periodical you need, you may request delivery of the item via Interlibrary Loan using the online ILLiad system available at:

There is a limit of 5 Interlibrary Loan requests per person per day. Videos are not available via Interlibrary Loan. Under most circumstances, Interlibrary Loan is a free service, but please allow at least ten working days for delivery. You will be notified as soon as the material arrives. Faster document delivery service is available for a reasonable fee. Please phone the Interlibrary Loan Desk at (203) 837-9114 for more information.

Do You Have a Question?

The Reference service is available on the first floor of the Haas Library, or you may contact Joan Reitz, Instruction Librarian, at 837-8308 or My office is in Room 402 (near the glass elevator) on the fourth floor of the Haas Library.

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Please send your comments to Joan Reitz, Haas Instruction Librarian, Western Connecticut State University.
Last updated on September 6, 2016