The RSC Collection consists of several thousand items, not counting the large archive of photographs and documents held by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. It was first put together in the late 19th Century and held in a purpose built section of the original Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. That part of the theatre survived the fire that destroyed the Memorial in 1926 and was home to displays from the collection until the building closed for major work in 2007.
The Collection consists of paintings dating from the 18th and 20th Centuries and costumes spanning the history of the theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as prints and drawings, sculpture, props, accessories and memorabilia. The majority of these items are kept in storage, and put on temporary display when required for a particular exhibition.
Parts of the Designated Collections of national importance relating to Shakespeare’s life and times are at this venue.
Please check before visiting.
Research access may be arranged with advance notice.
Education facilities are available from the RSC, but do not relate to the RSC Collection.
The Designated Collections of national importance relating to Shakespeare’s life and times are located at Shakespeare's Birthplace and the Royal Shakespeare Collection.
Please contact the Royal Shakespeare Collection for more information if you wish to see a specific item.
This collection includes items concerned with the performance and study of his works from the 16th century to the present day. The collections comprise an outstandingly deep, rich and varied source for the study and enjoyment of all aspects of the life and works of one of the world’s most celebrated literary and historical figures. The collections relate not only to Shakespeare and his works, but also to literary context, local history and the continuing evolution of theatre and performance.
Social History, Personalities, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Archives
Key artists and exhibits
- Designated Collection
The Courtyard Theatre
0844 800 1110