One Cardiff University student’s PhD project is offering artists access to thousands of digital versions of historical Shakespeare illustrations – allowing anyone to incorporate the images into their own creative process or finished work. And the best part – it’s free.

Recent English Literature PhD graduate Dr Michael Goodman is behind the online open access digital archive, which contains more than 3,000 illustrations from four major illustrated editions of Shakespeare’s Complete Works in the Victorian era.

The Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive invites users to access word clouds as a tool to search the line drawings by motif – such as witches, fairies, ghosts – with categories like Clowns, Castles, Horses, Kings, Moons, Musicians, Ships and Swords. 

Image: Romeo and Juliet, John Gilbert edition of Shakespeare’s Complete Works.

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