The following represents a brief “wish list” concerning the version of the Hamlet Art Database that I currently have running on my own PC:
1. that the database be available on the world wide web through a host server
2. that access to the database be open to teachers, students, and researchers, if possible at no cost
3. that the database contain digital images of all the works it records, assuming that those works are still extant. This would require the co-operation of a great number of libraries, museums, art collections
4. that the digital images have a sufficiently high resolution that small details can be examined and any accompanying text can be read
5. that the database when mounted on a web server include a facility for tracking web activity. It would be helpful to know who accesses the database and what kind of searches are conducted
6. that the database as presented on the web have a manager who can respond to queries, correct any errors that users discover, and make ongoing improvements
I quite realize, of course, that the above desiderata will probably never be met for reasons discussed elsewhere at this site. I list, them, however, since they indicate very clearly the frustrating limitations that confront the individual who attempts to compile an electronic research and teaching tool of the kind represented by the Hamlet Art Database. It was my very good fortune to have a limited version of my work made available as part of MIT’s Shakespeare Electronic Archive.