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


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.


Christmas and New Year Opening Hours 2014

We will be providing a Reading Room service from 10am-4.30pm on Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd of December 2014 and will then close for Christmas and New Year, re-opening and resuming our normal opening hours on Friday 2nd January 2015.  If you would like your items to be ready for your arrival, please email us at



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.