Access world class Shakespeare collections free of charge in our Library and Archive Reading Room.

Whether you are studying Shakespeare, interested in performance history or researching your family history, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust provides a Reading Room which is open to everyone and free of charge.

Every year we welcome readers and groups from all over the world who access books, maps, archival documents, newspapers, performance photographs, videos of Shakespeare productions and much more.


Opening Times

The reading room is located within the Shakespeare Centre on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon. Our normal opening hours are:

     Wednesday to Friday: 10.00am – 4.30pm
     Saturday: 9.30am – 12.30pm
     Sunday to Tuesday: Closed

Please contact us on 01789 204016 or e-mail to pre-order items, to book a video-viewing space, or to discuss any special requirements you may have and we will do our best to facilitate your visit. Advance booking is advisable.

It is possible to arrange access to the collections outside normal opening hours, with plenty of notice. Please read our terms and conditions of access.


Additional Services

We provide a range of copying and image services. Please contact us for further details.

In addition to our regular copy services, we offer original staging resources for AQA, Edexcel and OCR Drama and Theatre Studies A Level students .  Please email for more information and an order form.


Follow Our Blog

'Tales from the Reading Room' keeps you up to date with what our Reading Room staff and visitors have been up to. It is part of the wider Collections blog, Finding Shakespeare.


Christmas 2015

     Monday 21st December - Wednesday 23rd December : OPEN
     Thursday 24th December - Tuesday 29th December : CLOSED
     Wednesday 30th December - Thursday 31st December : OPEN 
     Friday 1st January - Tuesday 5th January 2016 : CLOSED

We will then re-open as normal from Wednesday 6th January 2016.