Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Concordance to Shakespeare

Something happened to me today that made me think of the wonderful Shakespeare classes that I took with one of my favorite college professors. The student who works in my office (the Protégé) came in today to give us her schedule for the rest of term and stayed on to talk with me about a class that she is currently finishing called “Science and Shakespeare,” and she has taken on a very ambitious final paper topic (I have been warning her that her topic is too broad.)

She was stumped with finding enough citations/primary sources to support her argument, and I asked her if she had looked in the Concordance to Shakespeare. She was unfamiliar with the book, and I got all excited, telling her about what an excellent reference tool it was, thinking in my head of the wonderful volume in the college library.

While I was telling her about it, I went to “google” where she might find a copy of it. Little did I consider that, coughfifteencough years later, the whole thing is now on-line. It was one of those humbling moments where you realize that no matter how far you come in embracing technology, you are still going to have moments where you think of a large, leather bound volume rather than a website.

Still, the Protégé was extremely pleased and went off to research more about “merchants” and “money” and figure out some correlations to the Elizabethan and Jacobian economies (quite broad, don’t you agree? She hadn’t even considered the implications of the plague until I mentioned it to her!)

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