Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Travelling with Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is celebrated as one of the greatest Englishmen who has ever lived and his presence in modern Britain is immense. His contributions to the English language are extraordinary, helping not only to standardize the language as a whole but also inspiring terms still used today (a prime example being “swag” derived from “swagger” first seen in the plays Henry V and A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

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Where did Darwin go on the Beagle?

On 27 December 1831, Charles Darwin set off on a round-the-world survey expedition and adventure on the HMS Beagle. Captained by Robert FitzRoy, the trip (the second voyage of HMS Beagle) lasted until 2 October 1836 and saw the crew visit locations as varied as Brazil, Tierra del Fuego, South Africa, New Zealand, and the Azores.

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Librarians’ favorite books around the world

Throughout 2016, Oxford University Press has traveled all around the world meeting and talking with librarians to learn about their favorite books. From a Colombian librarian who prefers a French author, to a French librarian who’s enamored with an American novel, the results from our year-long quest exemplify the universal reach of

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The best of Illuminating Shakespeare

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, we brought you a new theme every month throughout 2016. From Women to Race and from Money to the Supernatural, we delved into complex subjects surrounding his life and works, exploring their relevance for a modern audience. With specially commissioned videos, articles, and interactive content from a host of Shakespearean experts, Illuminating Shakespeare presented the very best Shakespeare resources from across Oxford University Press. Take a look at some of our favourites from this anniversary year…

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SIPRI Yearbook Online

World nuclear forces: who has what?

Since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have been detonated on over two thousand occasions for the purposes of testing and demonstration. With world events more uncertain than ever before, an in-depth look at nations’ nuclear capabilities (and intentions) is crucial to security services and diplomats all over the world.

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The history behind selected family names in Britain and Ireland [map]

We all have a surname, but how many of us know anything about its roots – origin, history, and what it means today? Family names are evidence of the diverse language and cultural movement of people who have settled in Britain and Ireland over history. Surnames can be varied, but not uncommon – for example there a large amount of occupational names like Smith and Baker.

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International Law in Domestic Courts [map]

This year marks the tenth anniversary of OUP’s International Law in Domestic Courts (ILDC). Created to be an innovative and valuable resource for research on the interpretation and application of international law, it shows how international law matters in practice. Digital innovation in the past decade has allowed ILDC to provide scholars with data in the form of case law and analysis on which to base further scholarship from jurisdictions around the world.

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Tracing viking travellers

The medieval Norse were far travellers: not only raiders but also traders, explorers, colonisers, pilgrims, and crusaders (to name a few). Traces of their adventures survive across the world, including ruined buildings and burials, runic graffiti, contemporary accounts written by Christian chroniclers and Arab diplomats, and later sagas recorded in Iceland.

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Around the world in spices and herbs

On supermarket shelves, we are given a mind-numbing array of choices to select from. Shall we have some peppercorns on our macaroni, some cinnamon for baking, or a bit of rosemary with roast pork? Five hundred years ago, however, cooking with herbs and spices was a much simpler choice.

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World travel: What are the dangers where you’re heading?

When travelling the globe, most intrepid adventurers and holiday-makers will encounter only minor health problems. But knowing and understanding possible hazards is fundamental to preventing them. When planning an adventure, people often seek novel experiences – and contemporary travel is able to take us (within just a few hours) from a relatively benign environment to a potentially life-threatening setting.

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Copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio around the world [map]

The first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays printed in 1623 – known as the First Folio – has a rich history. It is estimated that around 700 or 750 copies were printed, and today we know the whereabouts of over 230. They exist in some form or another, often incomplete or a combination of different copies melded together, in libraries and personal collections all over the world.

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Putting oral history on the map

Oral history has always been concerned with preserving the voices of the voiceless, and new technologies are enabling oral historians to preserve and present these memories in new and exciting ways. Audio projects can now turn to mapping software to connect oral histories with physical locations, bringing together voices and places.

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Special category states of India

There are eleven diverse hill states in India which comprise the group of “Special Category States.” They all suffer from the disadvantages that result from remoteness and geographical isolation, as well as historical and demographic circumstances. In addition to pathetic infrastructures, scant resources, unrealized human potential, and stymied economic growth, these states also represented various groups of marginalized minorities.

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A guide to Southern California for classical art enthusiasts [interactive map]

Every year, millions of people visit California in search of beaches, hiking, celebrity sightings, and more. In the map below, Peter J. Holliday shows us his version of California, focusing on the rich history of classically inspired art and architecture in Southern California. Enjoy the stories of grand landmarks such as Hearst Castle, Pasadena City Hall, and the Getty Villa.

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Shakespeare across the globe [map]

On 23 April 2014, the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, a production of Hamlet set off from the Globe Theatre in London. In a span of two years, the 16-person acting group is touring every country in the world, visiting seven continents in 732 days.

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