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Warren releases third edition of comprehensive index of Oxfordian research

INDEX TO OXFORDIAN PUBLICATIONS (Cover thumbnail, resized_2)





The recently released third edition of James Warren’s Index to Oxfordian Publications published in hardcopy by William Boyle’s Forever Press is available in paperback, and in an online, searchable database format at Boyle’s Shakespeare Online Authorship Resources (SOAR) catalog.


A hardcopy version of James Warren’s Index to Oxfordian Publications, Third Edition (Forever Press, 2015) is available from Amazon for $39.95 and from the NESOL bookstore for $30. For a $35 NESOL/SOAR membership, readers gain access to the library’s materials not available on the Internet. The library also offers a copy of Warren’s index and a one year subscription to NESOL/SOAR for $55.

Warren is a Sacramento native and retired Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State who lives in Thailand. He published the first edition of his Oxfordian index in 2011, and was honored for his achievement with the Vero Nihil Verius Award for Distinguished Shakespearean Scholarship by the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre of Concordia University in 2013.

In his introduction to the third edition of his index, Warren said:

This Third Edition includes two thousand new listings (an increase of 50-percent over the 2013 Second Edition), including several new sections that expand the Index’s coverage to practically all Oxfordian publications over the past 95 years. In addition to updating all current Oxfordian periodicals (newsletters and journals) and filling in the gaps where older records had been incomplete before, the Index now includes more than 1,000 articles from 200 non-Oxfordian publications that have reviewed and commented on the Oxfordian theory.

Among these are the regular Oxfordian columns that appeared in Louis Marder’s Shakespeare Newsletter (1979-1991) and Shakespeare Pictorial (1929-1939), as well as others ranging from the Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times Book Review, Harper’s, Shakespeare Quarterly, and Notes & Queries, to newspapers, magazines and smaller literary reviews from around the world. Not every author listed has been convinced that Edward de Vere wrote Shakespeare’s works, but all have had something substantive to say about the question of his authorship.

The Index has also been expanded to include an extensive bibliography of almost every Oxfordian book published since 1920, along with selected non-Oxfordian books on the Shakespeare authorship question in general. The 350 listings in the new book section include both nonfiction commentary and criticism, and also fictional works inspired by the authorship question. The Index also includes the contents of 22 collections of Oxfordian articles in book form, all cross-referenced with the original publications, and a “J. Thomas Looney Reading List” with details of all of Looney’s Oxfordian writings as well as commentary about them and him by others, in preparation for the important 2020 centennial of the publication of “Shakespeare” Identified.

Since Warren’s Index . . .  is available in hardcopy from William Boyle’s Forever Press imprint, we asked Warren if this monumental work would be made available in an electronic edition with hot links to the materials indexed. Warren said:

Bill Boyle and others working with him are actively at work putting the information in the index into a database that can be viewed and searched online through the Shakespeare Online Authorship Resources (SOAR) catalog, available at the New England Shakespeare Oxford Library (NESOL) website. That database already contains links to thousands of the articles listed in the Index, and will eventually have links to all of them.

William Boyle, librarian/owner of NESOL/SOAR said, “SOAR is the online, digital version of (Jim Warren’s) index. Every single index entry — author, article title, publication title/volume#/issue#/page numbers — is in SOAR as a catalog record, which can be searched in ways you can’t in a printed index, and in which each record will eventually be linked directly to the full text article.”

Warren and Boyle joined forces in 2011 when Warren was looking for a way to distribute his index and Boyle was developing his online resource, the Shakespeare Online Authorship Resources (SOAR) catalog. Boyle said:

The SOAR catalog [founded by Boyle in 2007] is an online catalog of Shakespeare authorship research which had already been embarked on the same mission as Warren’s, i.e. to identify and make available all Oxfordian research in one place, but was proceeding slowly, adding just a few hundred records each year. When I first met Warren via email exchanges over the summer of 2011, Warren shared his progress to date on his index. He had approximately 3,500 entries in Excel and Word formats, far exceeding what was in SOAR at the time; and we agreed to join forces.

I prepared a bound, printed version of Warren’s document for distribution at Concordia University at the premier of Anonymous in Sept. 2011, and several dozen copies were gobbled up in a few days. In the next two years a First Edition (2012) and a Second Edition (2013) of the Index to Oxfordian Publications were published by my Forever Press imprint, and were available for purchase on amazon.com — thus making Warren’s work available to the book-buying public as well as the Oxfordian community. At the same time all the index entries were also being added to the SOAR Catalog. This Third Edition is a milestone, since it now provides Oxfordians, for the first time ever, with a complete history of Oxfordian research as published in Oxfordian and non-Oxfordian publications since 1920, in both a traditional print format, and in an online, searchable format.

Since Jim [Warren] first showed me his Excel spreadsheet for his index in summer 2011 I have been working with him on publishing print editions of the index each of the last three years, and also in using the Excel spreadsheet data as the basis for records in the SOAR catalog. So everything in the 2013 second edition of the index is already in SOAR and can be searched by author, title or key word. Much new material in the third edition will be added soon. There is no paywall to access SOAR, but I do have a suggested SOAR subscription price for anyone who would like me to supply an article — if I have it — that isn’t available online. Anyone can go to my New England Shakespeare Oxford Library website, click on the SOAR catalog link and go to SOAR and use it. And if there is a link to an article online they can click on that [link to access the article].

My arrangement with Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship is that we [SOAR] break out all the individual articles from Shakespeare Matters and the Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter and will have the right to maintain those articles on the New England Shakespeare Oxford Library server as the SOAR Archive — where eventually all the articles in the print index will reside as SOAR catalog records. Each record in SOAR for an article in an SOF publication — approximately. 2,500 entries — has a link to the SOF website pages that list each full issue.

Everything in Jim’s spreadsheet eventually gets loaded into SOAR as a catalog record in the library standard MARC format — a format mostly used for books and journal titles, but which also supports cataloging individual articles. Cataloging individual articles is what is now happening everywhere, from JSTOR to Gale Research, etc. SOAR is the beginnings of an online catalog dedicated to the Shakespeare authorship issue, focused on Oxford. Future plans we are considering include cataloging all the articles available on websites, and all the documents available on sites like Nina Green’s, and more.

Warren says the index project is far from complete:

As comprehensive as the Index is, much work remains to be done. It contains all the Oxfordian articles from the 1920s onwards that I know of, but listings of the contents of many older literary journals in England and the United States likely to contain reviews of Oxfordian books when they first appeared are not available online. And the full texts of many of the older articles listed in the index are not available through any online database that I am aware of. So, while I have in my possession copies of all the Oxfordian publications indexed, the same is not true for all the articles from non-Oxfordian publications.

Shakespeare Online Authorship Resources (SOAR)

SOAR is a catalog of all articles published by Oxfordians and/or by non-Oxfordians about the Oxfordian theory since the 1920s, plus selected material on the authorship debate in general. Catalog records range from in-depth research articles to reviews, news items, conference reports, obituaries, and letters to the editor. SOAR presently has over 5000 catalog records, and by the end of this year will have more than 6500, after everything new in the third edition of James Warren’s Index to Oxfordian Publications is added. SOAR is the digital version of the Index to Oxfordian Publications, but with more access points, plus there are some records in SOAR that are not in the index, such as web-based articles and digitized documents.

Current catalog records in SOAR for publications of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship (not including articles from 2014, currently available only to Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship members) are:

Shakespeare Oxford Society Newsletter (1965-1995), 747 records
Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter (1996 to date), 967 records
Shakespeare Matters (2001-2013), 733 records
The Oxfordian (1998 to date), 201 records
Brief Chronicles (2009 to date), 51 records

This is a total of of 2,447 records for the newsletters, plus 252 entries for the journals. That leaves 2,500 other records in SOAR that cover The De Vere Society Newsletter, the older Shakespeare Fellowship newsletters (1930s-1950s), The Bard, The Shakespearean Authorship Review, etc. It is these 2,500 other records that we own in hardcopy, but must first be scanned and uploaded to the SOAR archive before a link to them can be added to a catalog record.

SOAR owner Bill Boyle said: “Since the SOF had the most articles overall, and since all these articles were available in the PDF versions of the newsletters on the SOF site, we began with them, after first clearing it with the SOF board [in 2013]. Anyone can search SOAR because it is a public catalog, and anyone can call up a PDF version of an article if there is a link in the catalog record. Until all the older hardcopy is converted to PDF anyone who wants a hard copy would have to ask us to copy it and send it. That is where we ask researches to subscribe to SOAR, to help support our work and to pay for the service.”

Timeline for James Warren’s Index of Oxfordian Publications

2007 Boyle creates Shakespeare Online Authorship Resources (SOAR) catalog  as one of the resources available on his New England Shakespeare Oxford Library (NESOL) website.

2011 Summer, SOAR creator William Boyle and index author James Warren join forces to publish Warren’s Index to Oxfordian Publications, and to combine Warren’s index files with SOAR online catalog records. Warren’s material includes 3500 records to be added to the 400 plus records already in the SOAR catalog.  (See: Oberon weblog post “Warren creates Index . . .” Sept. 7, 2011.)

2011 September, James Warren takes a limited edition of Index to Oxfordian Publications to authorship conference held at Concordia University, Portland Oregon, to enthusiastic response.

2012 First Edition of James Warren’s Index to Oxfordian Publications is published by William Boyle’s Forever Press, and made available from Amazon.

2013 Second Edition of James Warren’s Index to Oxfordian Publications is published by William Boyle’s Forever Press and made available from Amazon. (See Boyle’s Everreader weblog announcement of May 9, 2013.)

2013 April, James Warren receives Vero Nihil Verius Award for Distinguished Achievements in the Shakespearean Arts from the Shakespeare Authorship Research Center of Concordia University, Portland OR. (See: Oberon weblog post “SARC conference . . . ” dated March 9, 2013.)

2013 Fall, SOF board agrees to allow SOAR to break down SOF publications into individual article files to be housed and accessed from SOAR (as well as SOF website, if SOF chooses this option in lieu of linking to individual files on SOAR).

2015 January, Warren releases third edition of index with over 2000 new listings. Eighty-percent of articles are linked to online resources through SOAR, with complete links to be made available by the end of the year. Boyle said: “This third edition is a milestone, since it now provides Oxfordians, for the first time ever, with a complete history of Oxfordian research as published in Oxfordian and non-Oxfordian publications since 1920, in both a traditional print format, and in an online, searchable format.” (See Boyle’s Everreader weblog announcement of January 14, 2015.)Links to SF/SOS/SOF publications are available by permission of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship.

Bonus Reading!
Click HERE to read the full text of James Warren’s introduction to the Index of Oxfordian Publications, Third Edition (Forever Press, 2015)

About Linda Theil

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