29 october 2010

Shakespeare's First Folio joins iTunes U

University | Arts

Emma Smith and Shakespeare
Dr Emma Smith's 'Not Shakespeare' lectures have become a popular item to download

Shakespeare’s entire First Folio, including original spelling, is being made available to download for free today, as Oxford University becomes one of the world’s first universities to add ePubs to iTunes U, a dedicated area within the iTunes Store.

Like the University’s hundreds of free audio and video podcasts available on iTunes U, the ePubs are available for anyone to download and enjoy. This development comes shortly after Oxford on iTunes U celebrated its second anniversary by surpassing five million downloads of its audio and video material.

The University is also making six plays by contemporaries of Shakespeare available, including The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster.

Dr Emma Smith, Lecturer in English Literature at Oxford, whose lectures on iTunes U have been particularly popular, said: ‘It’s great to have released free ePubs of both First Folio Shakespeare plays and lesser known works. I hope that this material will be enjoyed as widely as possible.’

Today’s ePubs include Shakespeare's first folio  of 36 plays, ePubs to accompany Oxford’s  ‘Approaching Shakespeare’ lectures and ePubs to accompany our ‘Not Shakespeare: Elizabethan and Jacobean Popular theatre’ lectures.

Oxford is in a unique position to make historic and rare texts available in ePub form because of its expertise in text archiving and encoding.

The University Computing Services has run the Oxford Text Archive since 1976, and the University is one of five worldwide hosts of the Text Encoding Initiative Consortium.

The University will be adding more ePubs to iTunes U in the future.