Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

April 26, 2005

U of G Partners to Create Hybrid Shakespeare Site

One year after launching the largest and most complete website in the world dedicated to showing Shakespeare’s cultural influence on Canada, the University of Guelph is teaming with the Stratford Festival of Canada to create a new hybrid website that includes the vast holdings of the Festival’s archives.

“The idea is to produce a site that will play to every possible audience from grade school and high school students to post-secondary and longtime learners to theatre afficionados at an international level,” said Daniel Fischlin, the U of G English professor who designed and manages the Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project website.

U of G and Stratford have signed a memorandum of understanding that states they will create the world’s most advanced site devoted to teaching Shakespeare. It will bring together analytical, historical and performance materials in an integrated teaching site and virtual learning commons.

The Stratford Festival, now in its 53rd year, stores countless artifacts that have been collected since the 1960s, including images, memos between staff about various production plans, costumes, props, stage plans, tapes of rehearsals and music. “Objects of major importance to Canada’s national heritage are buried in vaults that nobody has looked at for a very long time,” says Stratford’s director of information technology, Darina Griffin. “We’re proposing the digitization of these objects for the purposes of long-term preservation, as well as to provide a curatorial component to various educational materials that will have the Internet reach. It’s very exciting.”

Fischlin will work alongside a group from the University to sort through the archives and prepare the context for teaching modules. In return, a team from Stratford will create the framework to present the material in a format that will be useful to its audience by providing access to the Festival’s archival and performance resources. A prototype of the site is expected to be up and running by the end of May.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.

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