131 artworks by 60 artists

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Our amazing collection of manuscripts, books, furniture, art and artefacts helps us get closer to William Shakespeare. Among the treasures are almost half of the surviving documents which relate directly to Shakespeare, rare books of the kind Shakespeare knew and used, many objects from his time and the archive of the Royal Shakespeare Company. As well as Shakespeare material of international importance we also hold many thousands of documents, photographs, maps and books relating to Stratford-upon-Avon and the surrounding area. The collections are made up of the following: The Museum Collection: Over 11,000 objects, most of which date from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. They include furniture, art and objects relating to domestic life. Many objects are on display in Shakespeare Birthplace Trust properties around Stratford, while others are accessible at the Shakespeare Centre. Library and Archive: The collections cover all aspects of Shakespeare’s life, work, times and the history of Stratford. They also document the stage history of Shakespeare and other dramatists, especially of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. The collection also includes printed materials on William Shakespeare, particularly reference books, periodicals, photographs, pictures, individual editions of the plays and sets of complete works, translations of the plays into 80 languages, biographies, critical studies and books on the performance history of the plays. The RSC Archive: This archive includes production materials covering the history of the Royal Shakespeare Company and its predecessor, the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, from 1879 to the present. This includes photos, programmes, prompt books, reviews and designs. There are also video recordings of productions since 1982 which may be viewed for a small charge.