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


Closed Days 2016

Easter Weekend
Friday 25th March - Saturday 26th March 2016 : CLOSED

Shakespeare's Birthday Weekend
Saturday 23rd April 2016 : 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.