DSEM: Searching for Hamlet

Versions of Hamlet on Streaming Video
Through Swank Digital Campus :
BBC Shakespeare in Video
Theatre in Video
See also:
Versions of Hamlet on DVD at the Library
  • Hamlet; directed by Kevin Kline and Kirk Browning.
    ‚ÄčMedia Library : VIDEO S527th 2001 on reserve at the circ desk
  • Hamlet / an Illuminations/Royal Shakespeare Company production for BBC in association with Thirteen for WNET.org and NHK ; producers, John Wyver, Sebastian Grant ; director, Gregory Doran.
    Media Library : VIDEO S527th 2009 on reserve at the circ desk
  • Hamlet ; produced & directed by Laurence Olivier.
    Media Library : VIDEO S527th 2006 on reserve at the circ desk
  • Hamlet / Miramax Films ; producers, Andrew Fierberg, Amy Hobby ; screenplay adaptation and directed by Michael Almereyda.(With Ethan Hawke)
    Media Library : VIDEO S527th 2000 on reserve at the circ desk
  • Brook by Brook, an intimate portrait ; The tragedy of Hamlet.
    Media Library : VIDEO B871b on reserve at the circ desk
Tools for Researching Hamlet/Shakespeare
Background Information:
  • All Things Shakespeare Reference PR2892 .O56 2002
    Looking for background material on elements mentioned in, or key to, Shakespeare's plays? This two-volume work covers everything from Weddings to Death, Beds to Jewelry.
  • Shakespeare A to Z Reference PR2892 .B69 1990
    A single-volume encyclopedia of plays, characters and persons connected with Shakespeare

Indexes/Databases: To Find Books
Go to the Drew Library Catalog
 and search "Hamlet" but pull down the search option for subjects:


Book records in the catalog will either show you the library floor and call number to find the book on, or a link to the book if it's an electronic book:


Not sure where to search? 
Try Scholar Search , which does a search across most of the articles and books the library owns, but is not as precise as MLA, or other databases.
Evaluating Your Sources
Before you use a source, you should check to see if it seems credible and relevant to your topic. Use the title, abstract, publication and author information to see if a source looks promising, then read the text carefully, considering whether it is appropriate for your paper.

For instance, when searching for sources for an academic paper, you're usually looking for:
  • Works by scholars or experts (authorities)-- for instance, for a literature paper, writers who are have advanced degrees in literature. 
  • Works that have been carefully vetted, for instance, in a peer reviewed journal (you can limit your search to 'peer reviewed/scholarly journals')
    • The type of publication the source appears in matters. Newspapers and Magazines are less likely to be accepted; scholarly books, however, are often acceptable. Reference books such as encyclopedias and dictionaries are generally used only to verify facts or background information. 
  • Works that are current with the scholarship in the field -- are they up to date, and factually, do they line up with other scholarly works on the topic? (As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, 'Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.')
  • Works that cite the sources where they got their own information: if there's no bibliography or references, view it with extreme suspicion.
  • Works that do analysis rather than expressing an opinion, and which are objective in their approach. ("Comparing the depiction of Hamlet in the Gesta Danorum and in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" would likely be an analysis; "Tom Stoppard improves on Shakespeare's Hamlet" is more likely to be an opinion.) Some book reviews may be scholarly, but even scholarly ones are also to be used sparingly and with care. 
  • And most importantly, works which are relevant to the topic you're working on. Even if it has all the right keywords and is scholarly, if the book or article has nothing to do with your topic, it's not going to help you. If it's an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association or Chemical and Engineering News on Ophelia, it's likely off-topic.
  • There are other factors to consider as well. 
It's up to you to decide whether a source is useful; but your professor and the librarians can help you.
Subject Specialist
Picture: Jenne Heise

Jenne Heise
Web Manager
Tel: 973-408- 3675

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Book Search
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