The Shakespeare Census attempts to locate and describe all extant copies of all editions of Shakespeare’s works through 1700. We include all items attributed to Shakespeare in print during the period, but not those attributed to him only by modern scholarship. We exclude the Restoration adaptations. Copies that have been attested earlier but are currently missing are not included.
The census currently includes 1865 copies.
High-quality, color digital facsimiles are available for 625 copies, or 34% of the total. Click on the in the list of copies to access the digital facsimile. If you know of any we have missed, please let us know. (We exclude EEBO copies and some older, lower-resolution image sets.)
Each copy in the Shakespeare Census has been given a unique identifier, the SC #, which can be used in references and citations. Please cite the Shakespeare Census as follows:
Shakespeare Census. Ed. Adam G. Hooks and Zachary Lesser. Created 2018. Accessed 17 January 2021. <http://www.shakespearecensus.org>. SC n.
Some of these numbers may appear out of order, but this is because individual copies may have changed Location or otherwise moved position in the display order since the numbers were first assigned. The SC # is a permanent identifier that will not change.
Currently, 22 copies are attested only by the holdings details in ESTC or library catalogues, but as these details are often erroneous, such copies are listed as unverified (⃠) until they have been confirmed. The other copies, including both those initially deriving from ESTC and not, have been confirmed on site (✓). A list of all unverified copies can be found here.
A list of "ghost" copies recorded (mainly) in ESTC Holdings Details or (in a few cases) in other library catalogs or in Bartlett – which turn out not to exist – can be found here.
A list of all libraries currently in the database, along with the number of copies they hold, can be downloaded here. Note that some universities have multiple collection locations associated with them, which will each appear separately in the list. A list of all editions and issues in the database with their currently known number of surviving copies can be downloaded here. This project is modeled on and extends the groundbreaking bibliographic work of Henrietta C. Bartlett. It builds on and incorporates the information in A Census of Shakespeare’s Plays in Quarto 1594-1709, compiled by Bartlett and Alfred W. Pollard (1916 - digital facsimile), which was revised and extended by Bartlett alone (1939 - digital facsimile).
You can download a cross-index of SC numbers and both the 1916 and 1939 Bartlett numbers here.
We are still attempting to locate the following copies listed in Bartlett; if you have any information about them, please contact us:
Bartlett 1939 #s: 71, 73, 78, 79, 80, 91, 93, 109, 110, 112, 121, 127, 128, 137, 153, 269, 291, 393, 409, 410, 411, 413, 415, 416, 423, 424, 425, 431, 433, 435, 436, 437, 441, 449, 450, 455, 461, 464, 471, 472, 474, 475, 579, 717, 784, 839, 842, 845, 874, 901, 902, 903, 908, 909, 911, 918, 920, 921, 929, 932, 933, 939, 1027, 1217 (error?)
Bartlett 1916 #s : 65, 245, 251 (error?), 310, 317, 352, 441, 494, 607, 631, 634.
We are also still attempting to locate the following items in Sidney Lee's various Censuses:
Lee, Pericles #: 39, 45, 46, 55, 59, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74
Lee, Lucrece #: 28, 41
Lee, Venus and Adonis #: 21 (error?)
We welcome contributions and corrections to copy-specific information from users via the Contact page.
Created by: Adam G. Hooks and Zachary Lesser
Principal Developer: Scott Enderle
Project Developers: Roshan Benefo, Yufan Cheng, Lucy Ferry, Jinyun Mu, Mariana Vega, Sophia Ye
Graduate Research Assistants: Eve Houghton, Judith Weston
Undergraduate Research Assistant: Rishabh Tagore With support from: Price Lab for Digital Humanities and Penn Libraries.