Founded in 1975, Records of Early English Drama (REED) is an international scholarly project that is establishing for the first time the broad context from which the great drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries grew. REED has for the last 35 years worked to locate, transcribe, and edit historical surviving documentary evidence of drama, secular music, and other communal entertainment and ceremony from the Middle Ages until 1642, when the Puritans closed the London theatres. As well, two collections go beyond the original boundaries of our research to cover other parts of the British Isles, RED (Records of Early Drama): Scotland and Wales. Twenty-seven collections of records have been completed since the first REED collection, York, appeared in 1979 with the most recent, Inns of Court, published in December 2010. We are also pleased to announce the online publication of the Lancashire including Isle of Man Addenda, which can be easily viewed or downloaded for reference and used in conjunction with the REED Lancashire collection (1991). In addition, over 20 editors are at work on other collections. PDF versions of the REED collections from York to Lincolnshire are available through the Internet Archive.
In recent years, a crucial component of REED's work has been the development of open access digital research and educational resources that are making REED's scholarship available to new audiences in new ways. In March 2013, REED launched the Mellon-funded Fortune Theatre Records: A Prototype Digital Edition, built in collaboration with the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London, the Centre for Digital Humanities at Ryerson University, and the University of Toronto Libraries. To learn more about this TEI-encoded prototype edition, please download the white paper written by the collaborators or a directory containing files used in the project. Additional online REED resources include Early Modern London Theatres (EMLoT), the Patrons and Performances Web Site, the Anglo-Latin Wordbook and All the World's a Stage.
Within the University of Toronto (an institution renowned for its scholarship in medieval and early modern culture), REED is associated with the Department of English, the Centre for Medieval Studies, the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, and the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama. We are also pleased that this site is a part of the English Department's on-line initiative, The University of Toronto English Library. REED's internal governance is provided by an Executive Board of senior scholars in early drama and related fields. Its advisors and collections editors are drawn from Canada, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
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