The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Printed Elizabethan poetry now included in Union First Line Index

As of September 2019, researchers have 35,261 more reasons to use the Union First Line Index of English Verse, hosted by the Folger Shakespeare Library. The database now contains all first lines, not just manuscript first lines, from Elizabethan poetry: a bibliography and first-line index of English verse, 1559-1603, by Steven W. May and William A. Ringler, Jr., the three-volume landmark published in 2004 (London and New York: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004).

1 closed and 2 open books

As always, the Union First Line Index can be searched by keywords, by words or phrases in specific fields, or a combination.


Keep in mind that the index has been compiled from various sources created over time, using different transcription, modernization, and reference standards, and different templates. In other words, blank fields don’t necessarily mean the information doesn’t exist, just that the information wasn’t provided in the source material.

Comments on this post are welcome, but if you have questions about the database, or encounter technical difficulties, you’ll probably want to contact directly.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)