The Complete Works

The Complete Works is a collection of all the cultural works of one artist, writer, musician, group, etc. For example, Complete Works of Shakespeare is an edition containing all the plays and poems of William Shakespeare. A "Complete Works" published edition of a text corpus is normally accompanied with additional information and critical apparatus. It may include notes, introduction, a biographical sketch, and may pay attention to textual variants.


Complete works may be titled by a single word, "Works". "Collected works" is often treated as a synonym. A distinction began to be seen clearly in the second half of the 18th century.
The Latin language equivalent Opera Omnia, is still used in English, as for the works of Galen. German usage distinguishes :de:Gesamtwerk as a complete corpus, :de:Gesamtausgabe for a published edition of the works, and Gesammelte Werke or collected works that may be selective in some way. A contrasting term is "selected works", which is a collection of works chosen according to some criterion, e.g., by prominence, or as a representative selection.