Digital Renaissance Editions

Guidelines for the Acquisition and Copyright of Performance Materials


The Digital Renaissance Editions has adopted a process of acquiring performance materials with the following aims in mind:

Materials for Inclusion

Suitable materials include the following (where permitted):

Note: Theater companies should ensure that they have rights to any materials they send to be published on the Digital Renaissance Editions.

Submission of Materials

  1. Theater companies can send materials by mail, perhaps as part of the regular process of publicity. For initial larger archives the DRE may be able to assist the provider with shipping expenses; please contact the Coordinating Editor, Brett Greatley-Hirsch,, for further information. The printed program for the production will contain much of the information that is required, but additional information about the highlights of the production is welcomed.
  2. Materials may be sent electronically to the Coordinating Editor, preferably on CD or DVD. Documents may be in PDF, Microsoft Word, or Rich Text format, for IBM-compatible or Apple Macintosh computers. Graphics should be in TIFF or JPEG format (please use a level of compression that leaves the resulting image of good quality). If video segments have been digitized, they may be sent in any standard file format.
  3. A combination of electronic and mail submission is also acceptable.

Value to Providers of Materials

Providers of production materials will gain both prestige and publicity by having their work included in the Digital Renaissance Editions. All materials will be acknowledged in full, and will include a link to a site of the provider’s preference.

Costs to Providers of Materials

All reasonable costs for scanning production materials suitable for scanning will be met by the Digital Renaissance Editions; video and audio of suitable quality must, however, be generated by the provider.

Every attempt will be made to focus on materials that are developed by theater companies in the normal process of production so that companies will not be required to do any additional work.

Process of Selection

Materials will undergo the equivalent of peer review by the Editorial Board (Performance), who will ensure that they meet the following criteria:

The archive will be developed in two ways:

  1. As editors work on a particular play they may seek specific materials for particular productions of the play from libraries and archives.
  2. Companies willing to do so will be asked to provide materials from current productions annually.

Copyright will be retained by the provider of the materials; materials will be available, however, for educational and non-profit purposes. All other uses will have to be negotiated directly with the provider. The Digital Renaissance Editions will hold copyright on all links, and computer code required for display. If the DRE seeks to use the materials in any way other than placing them on the Internet site, such use will be negotiated with the provider.

Graphic materials may be protected from unauthorized use by a number of different methods, at the request of the provider:

  1. A “watermark” may be added to the image (either visible or invisible); this ensures that an illegally copied image can be identified even after manipulation in a graphics program.
  2. Graphics will be displayed at screen resolution (72 dpi) only; this ensures a good quality screen image, but a print image that will be unattractive in a commercial product.
  3. The providers may require that the image be limited to a particular size; the intention would be to provide sufficient information for the viewer without making the image tempting for downloading.

“Snapshots” of the Plays

In order to create archives that are at the same time manageable and comprehensively illustrative of performances over time, the Digital Renaissance Editions will select specific scenes from each play for illustration, according to the following principles:

  1. Each play will have designated scenes or passages that are considered of consistent interest across productions.

    Example: In Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, all records will include information about a) the treatment of the devils; b) the use of stage illusions; and c) the performance of the final scene.

  2. The theater company will be invited to include additional scenes or passages.
  3. The editor of a play for the DRE may also wish to include additional material. In these instances the editor will correspond directly with the archives or companies that hold the materials.