About our Downloads

Folger Digital Texts offers a number of different file formats for you to download and use for free, for any non-commercial purpose. Which format you choose should be determined by how you plan to use the play texts, and how exactly like the original print editions you require the play texts to look. Not all file formats can support all of the same features, so in order to offer you the widest range, some formats do not include all the formatting, special characters, and critical editing marks that are part of the original texts.

Before you choose a file format for your purposes, we encourage you to read the information provided for that format so that you are familiar with its features and limitations and can decide if it's the right format for your use.


"XML" stands for eXstensible Markup Language. Folger Digital Texts uses XML as our base language to encode our texts. The XML files of the plays embed useful semantic information right into the texts, such as where speeches, scenes, and acts start and stop, and which particular characters are entering or exiting a scene, or speaking a speech. Using the encoded texts as a starting point for your project is a significant time-saver in creating mobile apps and other digital projects, or conducting research. This format renders exactly like the print version.

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"HTML" stands for HyperText Markup Language, and it's the default language of the Internet. Folger Digital Texts uses HTML as its primary file format in displaying texts on Folger Digital Texts. These files provide quality reading texts that you can download and open in any browser, regardless of internet connection, and provide web developers with a simple framework for creating their own non-commercial applications. This format renders exactly like the print version.

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"PDF," or Portable Document Format, is a stable, static format that is designed to display the same way regardless of what type of device or software is used to view it. These PDF versions of the plays, sonnets, and poems can be used for offline reading, as printable content, or for reading on any ereading device that supports PDF display. This format renders exactly like the print version.

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The .doc format of Folger Digital Texts's plays, poems and sonnets is meant to be used with document editing software, such as Microsoft Word or Pages for Mac. This format is a great choice for when you want to use Folger texts for scripts, select excerpts for publications or syllabi, or any other project that requires that the text be editable. This format is missing some information of the print version: it does not contain critical editing marks, line numbers, or certain types of special formatting (such as linked lines).

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The .txt format files offered in this repository are for projects and applications where simplicity and/or stability is the highest priority. These ASCII 7-encoded files are the most likely to render properly in the widest number of applications and the least likely to present conversion errors when being incorporated into text analysis tools. However, they lack critical editing marks, line numbers, formatting (including alignment and italics), and special characters.

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TEI Simple

TEI Simple aims to define a new highly-constrained and prescriptive subset of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines suited to the representation of early modern and modern books. Dr. Martin Mueller, Professor Emeritus of English and Classics at Northwestern University, in collaboration with Michael Poston, Encoding Architect and Digital Editor of Folger Digital Texts,has adapted Folger Digital Texts's original XML files into TEI Simple, for those interested in using this format for their own research and projects.

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