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.

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

Holiday Opening Times

Please note that we will be closed on Good Friday (18th April) and Easter Saturday (19th April). We will also be closed on Saturday 26th April as staff will be taking part in events for Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday Celebrations. We will be open as usual on Saturdays preceding other holidays.


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 sometimes 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 and resources for schools

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.