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Reading Room

Our world class Shakespeare collections can be accessed through our Reading Room

Every year we welcome readers and groups from all over the world to access our collections including books, maps, archival documents, newspapers, performance photographs, videos of Shakespeare productions and much more. Our readers include university groups, local historians, academic researchers and genealogists. 

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

You can browse our collection via our online catalogue. Please contact us 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.

If you are unable to visit us during our regular opening hours, please contact us in good time and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

Our Reading Room is available to be booked for private Group Bookings on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Please email us at if you would like to arrange one of these special study sessions. Please contact us directly and we will be happy to discuss your interests and requirements for one of these exclusive Group Options, and provide further information on availability and costs for your visit. 

We also can arrange behind-the-scenes VIP introductions and talks on the Collections, showcasing treasures from our vaults not usually on display to the general public, giving a unique insight into Shakespeare’s life, works and times. These special interest talks are curated and delivered by at least two members of our Collections team and take place in the Trust's historic Conference Room overlooking the Birthplace gardens. 

Please read our terms and conditions of access.

2018 Closures

We will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Saturday and will re-open as normal on Wednesday 4th April.

Shakespeare's Birthday
We will be closed on Saturday 21st April for Shakespeare's Birthday and will re-open as normal on Wednesday 25th April.

We will close for Christmas at 4.30pm on Friday 21st December (closed Saturday 22nd December - Wednesday 2nd January) and will re-open on Thursday 3rd January.    

Additional Services

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

Read our guidance for potential donors to learn more about our collecting policy and find answers to frequently asked questions relating to donating items to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust collections.

Access our collections online

Online Catalogue

Further Shakespeare studies

Research & Scholars
This is where the story began Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a working Tudor Farm Relive Shakespeare’s love story Walk in Shakespeare's footsteps The home of Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna