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The British Library   Co-operation and Partnership among UK Shakespeare Collections.
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About the Project


Touchstone Database: Introduction

New initiatives, led by The British Library, are encouraging collaboration between institutions with the twin aims of raising the profile of Library collections through collection level descriptions and combining strengths in specific subject areas. The Touchstone database fulfils both these aims for Shakespeare studies.

Despite Shakespeare’s eminence and the strength of UK holdings no co-ordinated policy currently exists and many significant collections remain relatively unknown. Touchstone will be the complete online centre for Shakespeare studies and at the cornerstone of the service will be a database documenting significant collections for Shakespeare studies.

Participating Collections

The country’s three specialist Shakespeare libraries are all situated in the West Midlands and belong, respectively, to the higher education, local authority, and charitable sectors: Shakespeare Institute Library, Birmingham Central Library, and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. All three of the partner collections contain unique special collections material, much of which is note being exploited fully by researchers, and in some cases has not yet been fully examined and documented. These collections will form the basis for the first stage of the database.

The long-term aim of the project is much wider. National standards will be developed to support collaborative mapping of collections and participation will be broadened with the long-term aim of creating a comprehensive map of UK Shakespeare resources.

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Last updated: November 02, 2010
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