For the past two decades, the MIT Global Shakespeare Project has been at the forefront of efforts to use modern technologies as tools for understanding the continuing relevance of Shakespeare in the modern world. Today, the project has reached new levels of sophistication in creating what is arguably the world’s most ambitious, interactive, and culturally diverse digital archive of Shakespearean materials in all media: the MIT Global Shakespeares Video and Performance Archive. Through the archive and focused educational initiatives the project is playing a major leadership role internationally in moving Shakespearean scholarship and teaching toward new models that draw from the full range of global theatrical production. Working with a global network of editors and collaborators, MIT’s Shakespeare Project is expanding its collections and developing authoring tools for education that can be easily used at all levels — from advanced scholars to university and high school students and the general public.
The MIT Global Shakespeares Video and Performance Archive includes a uniquely extensive collection of theatrical videos from the Arab World, Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom that offer fascinating glimpses of local performance traditions as well as insights into the cultural exchanges and new genres through which Shakespeare is becoming the major “global” author in the digital age. The project has brought together major scholars, artists and rights holders to create the largest and most diverse international collection of theatrical videos for Shakespeare study on the web. The MIT team and its international collaborators now form a unique and widely influential community producing resources for research and teaching that are bringing Shakespeare studies into the 21st century.