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EAS2026 Desire and Power Library Research Guide: Oxford Scholarly Editions

This guide introduces you to the skills and resources required for effective library research for Module EAS2026

Using Oxford Scholarly Editions Online

Oxford Scholarly Editions Online gives access to primary texts from writers between 1485-1901.

Each title within the collection presents the full text of the work, as established by an authoritative editor, accompanied by the editor’s record of important variations, and interpretative and explanatory notes placed directly alongside the text. Most also have introductions placing the work and the author in a historical context, and explaining the editorial principles and the history of the text.

The examples below show how you can use Oxford Scholarly Editions Online to examine particular passages in a text. Click on the image below (log in when prompted) to explore some of these examples.

If you want to locate a specific text, you can use the title lists to look at all editions available, or browse by categories. Click on the image below to view the title list in Oxford Scholarly Editions Online.


Run a 'Quick search' across works, titles, authors, and full text.

For example, search "to be or not to be"

You can refine your results using the options on the left hand side; for example, choose to refine where your keyword appears by checking the relevant box under 'Show Hits Within'. You can also refine by author, genre or date.

Alternatively, browse by Work, Edition or Author.

Once you are inside the full text of a work you can:

  • Move through the play with the arrows  at the top of the page. 

  • Shrink the left-hand navigation bar by clicking the little arrow at its top, if required. 

  • Hide the notes if you prefer by unchecking the notes box on the title bar

  • Click on the note symbols at the ends of the lines to scroll the notes pane to the right place. 

The three little tabs on the left help you navigate around the work or edition.     

  • The magnifying glass tab lets you search, jump to a print page, see the pdf of that original print page, or jump to a location in the text. 
  • In the Location box, enter 3.3.57 if you want to go to Act III Scene iii line 57

At the top right of the tool bar you'll find pdf and printer icons for saving or printing.  


If you highlight some text and choose ‘Copy and cite’ from the pop up menu, you’ll be able to automatically add a citation and the URL to the text you highlighted.‚Äč

Jump to a precise location in a text, e.g. Shakespeare Sonnet 18, or Marlowe, Faustus, 12.81


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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