Shakespeare Jahrbuch 160 (2024) “Shakespeare’s Libraries”

The 2024 volume of Shakespeare Jahrbuch will be a special issue on Shakespeare’s Libraries. The editorial board invites contributions on related themes, concepts and debates, from a variety of perspectives, in particular on the material afterlife of Shakespeare’s work in editions, collections and libraries through the ages. Contributions with a contemporary or historical perspective are equally welcome.

Possible topics include:

Shakespeare’s books

  • the role of the First Folio: its history as material artefact and cultural icon
  • book formats: quartos, octavos, folios
  • typography and the material book
  • paratexts in early books publishing Shakespeare’s work

reading Shakespeare

  • how Shakespeare’s works were read, annotated and extracted by early readers
  • changing practices of reading Shakespeare: communal/private, orality/literacy, amateur/professional reading
  • the materiality of reading Shakespeare: the relationship between book, body (cognition, affect, eye, hand, voice), tools and environments
  • reading Shakespeare in different forms and formats: page/screen, facsimile/modernised, original language/translation, plays/rewritings
  • famous readers of Shakespeare

editing Shakespeare

  • the emergence of Shakespeare as an author: editing, genre-making, canon-formation
  • early modern syndicates of book-making: printers, publishers, sellers, stationers
  • kinds of editions: single-text, complete works, compilations; facsimile editions; critical editions; digital editions
  • the role of the editor across the centuries
  • editing Shakespeare for the 21st century: new texts, new apparatuses, new readers

collecting Shakespeare

  • the material culture of collecting in the early modern period and today
  • early collectors of Shakespeare’s works
  • collecting practices: private or public collectors; custom-made collections; material intertextuality; compilations
  • distributed agencies in networks of authors, publishers, stationers and buyers

Shakespeare’s libraries

  • the library as material and conceptual space
  • historical types of libraries: private collections; institutional libraries; circulating and travelling libraries; digital archives
  • lost texts/libraries and the methodological challenges of the archive
  • Shakespeare (in) libraries: cultural, intellectual and societal functions

Please send an electronic version (as a Word/docx-file) of your article to the general editor of Shakespeare Jahrbuch, Prof. Isabel Karremann (email: [email protected]). The deadline for submissions (in English or German and of not more than 6,000 words) is 30 April 2023. Please observe the style sheet, which can be downloaded from the website of the German Shakespeare Society (

Articles are selected for publication on the basis of a double-blind peer-review system.