Though probably best known for comedies such as Volpone, The Alchemist and Bartholomew Fair, Jonson (1572-1637) was a hugely prolific producer of plays, poems, court masques and entertainments, prose works and letters, including several pieces which have only recently been discovered.
The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson, published in 2012, ran to seven volumes. Yet the online version - launched on 28 January by Cambridge University Press - is three times as large.
As well as texts of the whole canon in both old and modern spelling, it includes 550 court records and other contextual documents; 80 critical essays; several hundred high-quality images; 100 music scores; details of 1,300 stage performances; and a cross-linked bibliography of over 7,000 items.
Enhanced search capabilities allow different versions of the same text to be viewed alongside each other. A number of elements - a selection of the essays, the timeline, performance calendar and blog – are accessible for free.
Supported by generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson Online also relied on technical expertise supplied by the department of digital humanities at King’s College London.