Every year we share our collection with visiting residential groups and special interest groups from around the world. We offer a talk which showcases our collection and includes items relating to Shakespeare's life, his world, his works and their legacy. Many groups also book our "Texts Through Time" talk: the editorial history of Shakespeare's plays, in one hour, on one table, featuring dolphins and a 'robe of onions'!
I enjoyed the informal atmosphere, as well as being able to interact with the items in the collection up-close. The books were especially interesting.— Student from a German University
Our aim is to make our collection accessible and enjoyable for all: whether you are a Shakespeare academic or someone with a casual interest in theatre or history. We strive to present our collection and the history around it in an informative yet entertaining way with presentations lasting 30-45 minutes. Visitors then have time to chat to staff, ask questions, have pages turned and enjoy the unique experience of seeing items up-close and outside of exhibition cases.
Up until now these talks have only been available for groups and we have long wanted to offer the experience of seeing special items from our collection to individuals, whether they're local to Stratford or visiting from further afield. With this in mind we will be launching "Collections Cream Teas" this autumn. These informal sessions will consist of a 40 minute presentation, followed by time for browsing and photos. We will then adjourn to a separate room for a cream tea and cake and a chance to chat further (keeping all refreshments well away from our collection!).
The first of these sessions will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday 30 October and can be booked through our website. Join us to see early printed books, museum objects from archaeology to souvenirs, early documents relating to Shakespeare's family and theatre ephemera from C.17 to items from the Royal Shakespeare Company archive.
This will be followed by an illustrated talk on "The History of Medicine" on Tuesday 13 November and "Historic Stratford" on Monday 3 December. Each Collections Cream Tea costs £12.50 and includes the talk and refreshments. If you're a local resident who has always wondered what we have, or you're visiting Stratford and want to go beyond the tourist trail, why not book your ticket!
Being surrounded by so much history was overwhelming, but in a good way.— Student from a Hawaiian Community College
I loved the slideshows and how informative and interesting the facts were. The folios were def my favourite and I appreciated seeing a piece of history before my eyes. I liked the trust with which these objects were displayed and confided to us. I felt honored and privileged to hear all about them.— Student from a Florida University