March 2012

Dear Librarian

For well over a decade the Internet Shakespeare Editions (ISE) has been your partner in making the best literature freely available to those who thirst for knowledge. Now we are inviting you to become our partner as a Friend of the ISE. Make waves with us: we are launching a fundraising campaign, and need your help to ensure that the future is as successful as the past.

Our editors have selected your site as one of the best on the Internet when reviewed for quality, accuracy of content, presentation and usability. (

By supporting the ISE you will be responding to the needs of today’s students and scholars: online resources that are dependable, high quality, in-depth, and—most importantly—open access. The Internet Shakespeare Editions has been one of the most trusted Shakespeare resources on the web for over a decade. Materials published on our site are overseen and peer-reviewed by an international Editorial Board, the plays are being re-edited for the digital medium by a team of scholars, and our URLs are permanent.

The aim of the “Making Waves” campaign is to ensure the continuity of the website by generating a dedicated endowment of 1.5 million dollars to support continuing development and accessibility. The endowment will be managed by the University of Victoria Development Office, in partnership with the University of Victoria Libraries.

Your annual contribution, in a single payment or spread out over five years, will make waves for years to come. When you contribute, you ensure that these scholarly materials will always be accessible to your students and faculty, as well as a wider audience around the world. You are also contributing to the development of websites devoted to other Renaissance dramatists that the ISE is “incubating.”

We have enclosed a brochure that summarizes our aims and achievements. The following pages provide additional information.

Michael Best,

Roberta Livingstone

President and Coordinating Editor

Vice-President and Campaign Director

What the site offers

In a busy month, our server receives requests from around the world for over 1.5 million pages, and many visitors stay to examine dozens of pages. While our audience is global, our statistics show a high proportion of visitors from educational institutions. Those who visit our site discover a “one-stop shop” of resources in Shakespeare study: we publish in the areas of Shakespeare’s text, context, and performance.


Shakespeare’s works are being re-edited specifically for the digital medium by an international team of scholars. All plays are currently published in old-spelling versions; twenty two plays and most of the poems now appear in modern spelling. The fully edited works are peer-reviewed, are annotated to a deep scholarly level, and are accompanied by a text-base of supporting materials. An increasing number of plays and poems have been completed and published online, and many more are on the way:

As You Like It, edited by David Bevington (University of Chicago) Julius Caesar, edited by John Cox (Hope College)

Henry V, edited by James Mardock (University of Reno, Nevada).

Twelfth Night, edited by David Carnegie and Mark Houlahan (Universities of Otago and Wellington) Henry IV, Part 1, edited by Rosemary Gaby (University of Tasmania)

Pericles, edited by Tom Bishop (University of Auckland)

Venus and Adonis, edited by Hardy M. Cook (Bowie State University)

Distilled versions of our online texts are also appearing in print. Penguin Books has licensed our old-spelling texts for their forthcoming version of the Folio, and our modern-spelling texts will be appearing from Broadview Press as a series of volumes that will provide students with a convenient starting point for more in-depth study online.


“Shakespeare’s Life and Times” is a multimedia resource of over 1,000 virtual pages for those undertaking research in the context in which Shakespeare was writing; it is aimed at introductory university level students, and provides contextual bibliographies for further study in the library. Sections of the site deal with Shakespeare’s life, the stage he wrote for, and the background of ideas, politics, literature, and art. This resource is currently being updated.


Illustrated by cast lists, posters, program notes, and reviews, our database of Shakespeare in performance records current and historical productions, illustrating the way his plays have been interpreted over time and in different cultures. Theaters across the world contribute to the database, updating with new performances each year.

Beyond Shakespeare

Early Modern drama other than Shakespeare

The ISE is providing the platform for two sibling organizations to publish Early Modern drama: The Queen’s Men Editions (McMaster University), and Digital Renaissance Editions (University of Western Australia). Together, these sites—also open access—will make much otherwise unavailable literature available for scholars, teachers, and students.

Global outreach

Students from smaller institutions and from non-English-speaking countries will have access to high quality materials otherwise unavailable.

“Making Waves” campaign—page 2.

Benefits of membership

As a Friend of the ISE, your institution will be acknowledged on the site, and your students and scholars will receive additional benefits:

A “print-ready” view of each page

A formatted citation for each page through a pop-up window

Assured continuity of content

The ISE is designed for long-term sustainability: all the code is open source, and all text formats will be converted as standards evolve. However, should the site for any reason cease to be available by open access, Friends of the ISE will have the right to mount on their own servers all content to which the ISE has rights.

Our plans for the future

Additional plays will appear on the site as the editors complete them.

We will be adding a “Classroom” to the site to provide assistance to professors and teachers on using the website in their classes by creating a forum of suggestions on how to use the site to illustrate important issues in Shakespeare studies: interpretative and editorial cruxes, historical contextualizing of his work, and the way that performance illuminates the plays.

We are enhancing the site to allow it to be accessed from mobile devices like the iPhone or iPad.

We are adding a map-function that will allow students to see the location of all places mentioned in the plays.

We are developing innovative ways of displaying texts like Hamlet or King Lear that were originally published in widely variant versions, such that textual complexities will be intuitively visualized.

Membership dues

For as little as $800 each year for five years you can be a Friend of the ISE.


Annual dues (for 5 years)

One-time payment

Institutions offering a graduate degree in



English Literature



Undergraduate degree in English Literature






Please visit for more information. On this page you will find further information, letters of endorsement for our campaign, and a link to an online form that will create an invoice for your institution to become a Friend of the ISE. Alternatively, you may use the “clip and mail” form on the reverse side of this page.

For further information you can email us at, or phone (250) 472-5152.

We look forward to welcoming you as a Friend of the ISE.

“Making Waves” campaign—page 3.

Membership form

Name of library:

Parent institution:

Please enter the names as you wish them to appear on our membership page.

Do you offer a graduate degree in English? Yes No

Institutional URL:

For example:

Institutional IP address(es):

These should consist of numbers, separated by periods: or 142.104/16. You will be able to get these numbers from your IT department. Attach an additional page if the list is long.

Contact name:

Contact email:

Mailing address:



Contribution: $

Please mail this form, with accompanying payment, to:

Friends of the ISE

McPherson Library

University of Victoria

PO Box 1800 STN CSC

Victoria, BC V8W 3H5


Your membership will take effect from the time we process the payment, and will remain in effect for the next twelve months—or permanently if you are remitting the one-time payment.

For more information, visit our website at, email us at, or call (250) 472-5152.

Many thanks for supporting the Internet Shakespeare Editions.

“Making Waves” campaign—page 4.

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