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Shakespeare's Photography Studio

In order to make the items in our collections more accessible to the public, we're building a searchable online database! Check out the process we undertake in order to make this possible.

Jennifer Reid

If you visited the Birthplace or Halls Croft recently you may have noticed something a little different – Shakespeare’s Photography Studio! Well, not quite, but you might have visited on one of the days when the collections team have been working in the properties photographing objects on display.

andrew thomas drug jar halls croft
Digitisation Officer Andrew Thomas photographing a drug jar in Hall's Croft

Over the last year we have been working towards a new online catalogue of our collections for our visitors and researchers to browse more easily. As part of it we have been busily photographing objects both in store and on display to create lots of new content for when the website goes live in April. This has ranged from rare and delicate items that we can’t display often, images required of new publications coming out this year, and objects about to go on display or loan. We now have over 30,000 images ready and waiting to be explored.

leather bombard
Collections Assistant Jessie preparing a leather bombard for photography in the Birthplace

As part of this, we packed up our digitisation studio and moved it into the properties to photograph some of the fantastic collections that are on display in them. Some of these objects have been on display for a long time and have never been photographed. Now that they have been, not only do we have an actual record of their condition for conservation purposes, but we can also share these collections with visitors who aren't able to visit the properties in person. On each day we managed to photograph around 40 objects, greatly increasing the number of images we have of object on display in the properties.

Below is a sneak peak of some of the images taken in the properties. Keep an eye out for our new collections catalogue which will be launching in April 2016.

yarn winder
Yarn Winder
Yellow Earthenware Pipkin
Yellow Earthenware Pipkin, C16th
Earthenware Tankard
Earthenware Tankard, C16th
Dough Trough Kiver
Elm Dough Trough or Kiver
Bombard, C17th
brass candlestick
Brass Candle Stick, C16th