How to Use this Website


From your keyboard, you can press TAB to navigate through the site, the content, and the menus.


On our new home page, you’ll see a set of square image portfolios. These are meant to be brief topical introductions to the content across the site, and to the collection as a whole. You can access various aspects of the collection through these visual portfolios, or you can access the collection through the above menu tab, “The Postcards.”

To return to the home page at any time, click the  logo icon at the top left of the page.


The best way to access our collection of postcards is to use “The Postcards” drop down tab at the top of the site. It is organized according to the Players (by last name) and the Plays. The latter is organized into the categories of Comedy, History, and Tragedy, in accordance with the First Folio.

You can also browse the categorized libraries of related cards (for plays, characters, and players) by selecting the #tags that may appear at the bottom of each post.

-The Preface:

The Preface is a critical and informative essay published by Dr. Harry Rusche as he began creating Shakespeare & the Players in the 1990s. It serves as a useful educational introduction to the site, to Shakespeare performance studies, and to postcard culture as a whole. There is also a Prefatory Video here featuring both Justin Shaw, the current Curator and Site Manager and Dr. Harry Rusche, the creator of the site and owner of the collection.

-The Players:

The “Browse All Players” list of Players (in “The Postcards” tab) is organized by last name. If you select a player’s name, you’ll be taken to a “main page” for that player, which includes a short actor’s bio and all associated postcards, characters, and plays for that player. Here is an example of one of these “player pages” for Dorothea Baird.

-The Plays:

These are organized in two ways: by genre (Comedy, History, Tragedy) and by “Browse All Plays.” If you select a play title (e.g., Romeo & Juliet), you will be taken to a “main page” for that play which includes a brief synopsis of the play from the Folger Shakespeare Library, a gallery of postcards associated with that play, and a short chronology of performances in our covered period. You will also notice that each play on the menu contains hyperlinks to a selection of characters who appear in that play. Clicking one of these names (e.g., Romeo) will take you to a character page which contains a gallery of all the postcards associated with that character.


We are committed to enhancing and supporting innovative teaching and research around the world. To this end, we’ve dedicated an entire page to ideas and examples of scholarship and instruction using our postcard collection and website.


The site includes a bibliography for the Preface and for the actor bios. It includes titles that deal with the subject matter—some published by players in our collection, such as Frank Benson. You can download this document as a PDF for your own research pursuits. Under this tab, you’ll also find “Fun Facts” about the collection with some data visualization, a “Multimedia” link showcasing audio and video clips of the players in action, and “Further Research” which includes a list of related websites.


We hope that you’ll contact us to tell us about your experience using the site, and viewing the postcards. We welcome all inquiries through the suggested Contact form under the last tab on the menu. If you have any other information to contribute (e.g., biographical info, more postcards), please use this Contact form.

If you’d like to contribute to the site by helping us with image descriptions, please select the “Help Us” link.