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

As you may be aware we have increased our staff levels this year to improve customer service and security by having an extra member of staff on duty each afternoon.

As part of our commitment to continually improve our Reading Room Service we are now consulting our readers about our opening hours. We would like your views on the current pattern of opening as well as your aspirations for any future improvements. While we are not in a position to increase opening hours at present the findings of this survey will be used to help with our forward planning.

We would be very grateful if you could spare a few minutes to complete this online survey:


Easter and Shakespeare’s Birthday closures

We will be closed on Good Friday (3rd April) and Easter Saturday (4th April) and will re-open as normal on Wednesday 8th April.  We will also be closed on Saturday 25th April as staff will be taking part in the annual Birthday Celebrations.


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.