Google Launches Shakespeare Site

Posted on June 16, 2006

Search engine giant Google has launched a new website which features all things Shakespeare. The searchable site, allows users to read the entire text of his 37 plays and search by keyword.

Readers can even plug in words, such as "to be or not to be" from "Hamlet," and immediately be taken to that part of the play. The site, which was introduced in conjunction with Google's sponsorship of New York City's "Shakespeare in the Park" performance series, also provides links to related scholarly research, Internet groups and even videos of theater performances of Shakespeare plays. It also encourages users to "take a literary field trip" by searching for London's Shakespeare's Globe Theater on Google Earth, which combines satellite imagery, maps and a search engine to find historic locations around the world.

Google Book Search, the Google product which houses the Shakespeare site, allows users to view books or parts of books through their Web browsers if the copyright has expired or a publisher has given permission to do so.

Of course, Google Book Search is also the infamous program that is the subject of numerous lawsuits by publishers and authors who don't want their entire works read for free without royalites. But Shakespeare is well within the public domain (at least in the U.S.) and so we believe that it's an excellent resource, even if the scanned pages are not always that easy to read.

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