The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC is the largest Shakespeare collection in the world, and beginning next month it’s going online. The Library will be releasing scans of their collection, as well as publishing an app called The Luminary Folger Shakespeare for accessing it all. The project eventually will make 50,000 digital images available to the public.
The Folger collection has 82 copies (!) of the First Folio, and countless quartos and other material. The library also has about 250,000 books, the same number of playbills, more than 50,000 manuscripts (including work from the hands of John Donne, Mark Twain, and others) and a vast array other art and printed material. The library has an exhibit space, and whenever I’ve stopped in they always have some treasure on display.
My own preferred digital Shakespeare is Readdle’s Shakespeare Pro, which never leaves my iPad. It includes the complete works, some audio, outlines, contextual glosses from Shakespeare’s Words, both modern and folio texts, and other treats. I’d love to see something like this for more great literature, especially for Chaucer.