Internet Shakespeare Editions

Guidelines for the Acquisition and Copyright of Performance Materials

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The Internet Shakespeare Editions has undertaken a process of acquiring performance materials with the following aims in view:

The materials sought

Suitable materials include the following (where permitted):

Note: Theater companies should ensure that they have rights to any materials they send to be published on the ISE website.

Submission of materials

  1. Materials may be uploaded directly to the website by theaters that have a logon id and password. They may be sent electronically to SIPadmin[at] as attachments if they are not too large, or they may be sent on CD or DVD. Documents may be in PDF or Microsoft Word format. Graphics should ideally be in TIFF format for maximum archival quality.  JPEG is acceptable so long as the quality is high such that the result is an image of good quality. If video segments have been digitized, they may be sent in any standard file format.
  2. Theater companies can send materials by mail, perhaps as part of the regular process of publicity. For initial larger archives the ISE may be able to assist the provider with shipping expenses; please contact the ISE for further information. The printed program for the production will contain much of the information that is required, but additional information about the highlights of the production is welcomed.
  3. A combination of electronic and mail submission is also acceptable.

Contributors retain copyright on any materials they submit. All images and videos are credited. Please see our statement on copyright.

The value to the providers

Providers of production materials will gain both prestige and publicity by having their work included in the Internet Shakespeare Editions. All materials will be acknowledged in full, and will include a link to a site of the provider's preference.

Cost to the providers

All reasonable costs for scanning production materials suitable for scanning will be met by the Internet Shakespeare Editions; video tapes of suitable quality must, however, be generated by the provider.

Every attempt will be made to focus on materials that are developed by theater companies in the normal process of production so that companies will not be required to do any additional work.

The process of selection

Materials will undergo the equivalent of peer review; they will be submitted to a consultant of high standing in the theatrical profession, who will ensure that they meet the following criteria:

The archive will be developed in two ways:

  1. As editors work on a particular play they may seek specific materials for particular productions of the play from libraries and archives
  2. Companies willing to do so will be asked to provide materials from current productions annually.



Copyright will be retained by the provider of the materials; materials will be available, however, for educational and non-profit purposes. All other uses will have to be negotiated directly with the provider. The Internet Shakespeare Editions will hold copyright on all links, and computer code required for display. If the ISE seeks to use the materials in any way other than placing them on the Internet site, such use will be negotiated with the provider.

Protection of copyright

Graphic materials may be protected from unauthorized use by a number of different methods, at the request of the provider:

  1. A "watermark" may be added to the image (either visible or invisible); this ensures that an illegally copied image can be identified even after manipulation in a graphics program.
  2. Graphics will be displayed at screen resolution (72 dpi) only; this ensures a good quality screen image, but a print image that will be unattractive in a commercial product.
  3. The providers may require that the image be limited to a particular size; the intention would be to provide sufficient information for the viewer without making the image tempting for downloading.


"Snapshots" of the plays

In order to create archives that are at the same time manageable and comprehensively illustrative of performances over time, the Internet Shakespeare Editions will select specific scenes from each play for illustration, according to the following principles:

  1. Each play will have designated scenes or passages that are considered of consistent interest across productions.

    Example: In The Taming of the Shrew, all records will include information about a) the treatment of the "frame" of Sly, the Hostess and the Lord; b) the first scene between Katherine and Petruchio; and c) Katherine's final speech.

  2. The theater company will be invited to include additional scenes or passages.
  3. The editor of a play for the ISE may also wish to include additional material. In these instances the editor will correspond directly with the archives or companies that hold the materials.