Founded in 1935, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is one of the nation’s oldest professional non-profit theaters, as well as one of its largest. Each year, it performs a robust repertoire of plays by Shakespeare and others for hundreds of thousands of attendees. Since its founding, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has maintained an archive that houses a comprehensive collection of audio and visual materials relating to its theatrical performances. The collection includes recordings of 541 of the 570 the Festival’s theatrical productions between 1950 and 2012; theatrical adaptations created for NBC radio; artist interviews; lectures; music; and advertisements. With much-needed funding from the NEH, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival began to digitize these collections in 2013. Previously, the recordings had been held in storage, many of them unusable due to changes in technology and all of them in immediate danger of deterioration. The works, which include Shakespeare’s entire canon of plays in multiple interpretations, are now freely available on YouTube, where they are a resource for theater professionals, teachers, students, and Shakespeare enthusiasts from around the world.
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