All the basic orthodox information can be contained on a postage stamp. Regrettable but true. However not many people look at the evidence in the original documents.
YLS is particularly averse to anyone who quotes from original documents and leaves out what comes before or after; slightly or totally altering what the original document says.
To be honest if the majority of poeple found an original Shakespeare document in his handwriting they would NOT recognise it. Elizabethan handwriting is hard to decipher. Even if it were printed material it might still be difficult.
That’s why we need to be able to trust those people who say they’ve found something in the historical record. They are the front line of interpretation.
To that end here are facsimiles of originals of several documents: his last Will and Testament from the Probate Office in London. And his mention in Palladis Tamia by Francis Meres, alongside most of his conspiracy candidates.
i know a lot of people scorn Wikipedia but i’ve included a list of the circle of Shakespeare’s friends, colleagues and acquaintances from that database. As of this writing it is incomplete from about S-Z.
You will also find here some tips from Hardy Cook, moderator of the listserve SHAKSPER, used by kind permission.