The Bodleian First Folio

A digital facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays, Bodleian Arch. G c.7.


Our work on the Bodleian copy of the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays was inspired, and has been supported throughout, by Emma Smith (Hertford College, University of Oxford). The generosity and enthusiasm with which she has shared her expertise has made working on this a delight.

You can find out more about this book's remarkable history, the campaign, and the work that led to its digitization.

The Bodleian First Folio project has had two phases to date: the public campaign, Sprint for Shakespeare, which ran from August to December 2012, and funded the conservation, digitization and online publication of the book; and a project funded by a group of four donors, to create a digital edition and new website for its publication. We are enormously grateful to all the donors. Read more about our Supporters.

Digital Edition

Diplomatic editions of the plays of the Bodleian First Folio are now available. Wikipedia has an article on what a diplomatic edition is.

The text is encoded in Text Encoding Initiative XML (TEI P5 conformant).

For more details of the editorial principles and the encoding, please see the Transcription Guidelines.

You can choose to view a page image with the digital text alongside it. You can also see the XML version of the text. You can navigate by part, play, act, scene, and signature using the drop-down menus. Images, digital text, and XML are all available for download.

If you just want to see the page images, you may prefer to read the book using the page-turner.


The images and text of the First Folio are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)licence.


According to the terms of the CC BY 3.0 licence, you are free to reuse and adapt any of the images and text on this website providing you acknowledge attribution.

We request that you include the following information in any citation:

[Images/text taken from] The Bodleian First Folio: digital facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays, Bodleian Arch. G c.7. URL:
Shakespeare, William. Mr William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies (1623). The Bodleian First Folio, URL: Date accessed: [e.g. 23 April 2014].


As well as thanking our supporters, we would like to thank our colleagues across and beyond the University who have contributed to our work on the Bodleian First Folio.

Many people worked on the first phase of this project, including colleagues from Rare Books, Conservation and Collection Care, the Imaging Studio, Bodleian Digital Library Systems and Services, the Communications Office and the University's Development Office.

In preparing the digital edition, we have been fortunate to draw on the experience of several academics specializing in early modern drama and print. Our thanks go to them all for sharing their thoughtful consideration and time with us.

This second phase is a collaboration between Bodleian Digital Library Systems and Services, the University of Oxford eResearch Centre, and IT Services.

Academic Consultants
  • Peter Auger, University of Oxford
  • Giles Bergel, University of Oxford
  • Thomas Betteridge, Brunel University
  • Micah Coston, University of Oxford
  • Petrus van Dolen, University of Oxford
  • Gabriel Egan, De Montfort University
  • Ben Higgins, University of Oxford
  • Brett Hirsch, University of Western Australia
  • Edmund King, Open University
  • William Poole, University of Oxford
  • Emma Smith, University of Oxford
University of Oxford eResearch Centre

The University of Oxford e-Research Centre develops and applies innovative digital methods to transform research in and across multiple disciplines. As a collaborative hub focused on advancing digital scholarship, the Centre conducts research with a range of academic departments and is delighted to be working closely with our digital partners including Bodleian Digital Library Systems and Services, IT Services, the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, and Advanced Research Computing.

IT Services

IT Services exists to promote, embed and expand digital literacy in the University; to provide digital research support; to help users articulate their technology needs for research, learning and teaching, through training courses, raising awareness and promoting new skills. These opportunities for exchange and discussion are important for more than just their content. Whilst universities are being increasingly pressured to use cutting-edge technological solutions and teaching practices, IT Services emphasises the importance of dialogue with users rather than top-down implementation.


Bodleian First Folio Project Enquiries

We welcome your comments and ideas. If you would like to get in touch about this digital facsimile, note a correction, or write a guest post for the Sprint for Shakespeare blog, please email Pip Willcox, Curator of Digital Special Collections:

First Folio Enquiries

For enquiries about the physical First Folio, please contact Rare Books, in Special Collections:

Media Enquiries

For media enquiries, please contact the Communications Office:

Project Team

  • Software development: John Pybus, Matthew Wilcoxson, David De Roure
  • Website design: Monica Messaggi Kaya
  • Digital editing: Lucienne Cummings, Judith Siefring, Emma Stanford, Pip Willcox
  • TEI consultant: James Cummings
  • Project management: Pip Willcox

Shakespeare in the Digital World