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Date: November 18, 2005

Shakespeare Reaches New Heights Online - "There’s magic in the web of it.” Othello Act 3, Scene 4

Shakespeare fans, scholars, students and actors will soon be able to access a new, powerfully-enhanced version of the Internet Shakespeare Editions (ISE) — a University of Victoria-based website offering unprecedented access to the Bard’s plays, a new database of images and production information of Shakespeare on stage and film, and a Renaissance library of the writer’s life and times.

Already the existing ISE website – established as a-non profit organization with the help of UVic’s Innovation and Development Corporation – is one of the university’s most popular sites, recording over a million hits a month from people all over the world.

Today the site creator, UVic English professor emeritus Michael Best, and ISE creative director Roberta Livingstone, are launching an enhanced new version of the site. It features a virtual “library” of Renaissance resources with improved navigation and two new research tools: a database of “Shakespeare in performance,” featuring materials from theatre archives all over North America, and the “Illuminated Text,” a multimedia function that allows students and scholars to research an archive and resources for each play including the texts as they were originally published.

“This website gives people an authentic experience of the past through the Internet and is setting a new standard for website publishing,” says Marnie Swanson, head of UVic Libraries and a strong supporter of making academic resources available online. “Through this website, UVic is helping to educate thousands of students around the globe, most of whom have never attended a single class at this university.”

The new website will be unveiled at UVic’s Maltwood Gallery by Glynis Leyshon, artistic director of the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, during a celebration in which Best will demonstrate some of the state of the art features in a virtual “show and tell.”

The Internet Shakespeare Editions is a non-profit organization based at the UVic and supported by the university, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the University of Victoria, the Innovation Development Corporation and the McPherson Library. All the resources and tools on the Internet Shakespeare Editions website are provided free of cost. Each play is being edited by a leading scholar or team of scholars from around the world.

The website can be found at: http://ise.uvic.ca/index.html

Media contacts:

Roberta Livingstone (Internet Shakespeare Editions) at (250) 598-9575 or rlivingstone@shaw.ca

Beth Haysom(UVic Communications) at (250) 721-6248 or bhaysom@uvic.ca

Internet Shakespeare Editions

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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