This guide is designed for Harvard students and faculty doing research on Shakespeare. Because of the vast number and range of Shakespeare studies, this guide is only an introduction to the field, a survey that is nowhere near exhaustive. The principle of selection was that "less is more": What are the essential readings someone needs to know about to begin research on a topic? It's usually not much more than a couple of classic studies and one or two recent entries in the discussion.
This guide includes reliable editions and key scholarship as well as useful databases, reference works, and research tools (Shakespeare studies is such a vast field that you need a research guide to the research guides). Most of the below items are specific to Shakespeare studies, but sometimes resources used for literary studies more generally are included if they frequently arise when researching Shakespeare. Efforts have been made to provide links, including links to full access for Harvard affiliates, whenever possible.