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Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature

Subject support from Library Services for staff and students in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature.

Shakespeare Institute Library


The Shakespeare Institute is a research and postgraduate centre within the University of Birmingham, based in Stratford-upon-Avon. The library has been developed as a working collection for the Institute's members and also serves as the University's central resource for English Renaissance literature. As one of the top libraries for the study of Shakespeare in Europe it is used by UK and international Shakespeare scholars. Check out our virtual tour.

The Library contains 60,000 volumes, archives, manuscripts, and audio-visual collections. We aim to collect every significant publication for the study of Shakespeare and Renaissance drama and the supporting collections cover literary, cultural, political, religious, and social history of the period.


Using the SI Library

University Staff and Students

UoB: All staff and students registered with the University of Birmingham can access the Library. UoB ID cards can be used on the security door and the photocopying/printing facilities.

Other Universities: If you are a student registered with another UK university then you can apply for SCONUL access. Students from non-UK universities can visit us free of charge during vacation periods, or have 10 free visits during term-time. Academics from non-UK universities can apply for free reference membership.


Independent Researchers & Members of the Public

We welcome anyone with a genuine interest in researching English Renaissance literature. You can apply for membership of the Library with an annual fee. Your membership card will give you access to the SI Library and other UoB libraries on the Birmingham campus. Alternatively, you can bring along personal ID documentation and register for up to 10 days access free of charge. (Access to Birmingham site libraries may be restricted during exam periods).

For more information on membership and access to UoB Libraries please check the following webpage on membership:

Our Collections

Significant research collections include:

  • Renaissance Theatre Company archive (Kenneth Branagh’s touring company from 1987-1992)
  • Renaissance Films PLC archive
  • Regents Park Open Air Theatre archive (formerly New Shakespeare Company)
  • Russell Jackson Archive (textual advisor on various Shakespeare film productions)
  • Papers of Wendy Beavis (actress who worked with Geoffrey Kendal’s Shakespeareana Company touring India and Pakistan in the 1950s)
  • Actors’ Script Collection (annotated scripts of Janet Suzman, Samuel West, Jasper Britton, Nigel Hawthorne, Sonia Ritter)
  • Unpublished Shakespeare Film Script collection
  • The School of Night (papers relating to the improvisation group)
  • E.K. Chambers Papers
  • Newscuttings collection 1902- present
  • English Short Title Catalogue 1475-1640 on microfilm
  • Francis Longe Play Collection on microfilm


The Shakespeare Institute's rare book collection is housed at the Cadbury Research Library and is accessible through their facilities in the Muirhead Tower on the Edgbaston campus. All of the University's rare book collection is searchable through the library catalogue FindIt.


For more information on the collections check Specialist Resources on this guide.



How to Get Here

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