If you have an interest in a particular play, actor or production you can get more information about it through our Collection Resources.

A blue and red robe with golden decorations of lions and fleur de lis
Jacket worn by Kenneth Branagh as Henry V in 1984
© RSC – Image Licensing

Collection

Our collections offer a wealth of information on theatre productions, past and present, and Shakespeare's work, life and times. 

More than 2,500 costumes, props and designs dating from the 1800s to today offer an overview of the way theatrical performances have changed.  Set and costume design is often the first impression an audience member will have of a play, and potentially the most enduring.

We hold over 4,000 artworks in the form of paintings and drawings, prints and sculpture which record stage productions, artistic interpretations of Shakespeare's work and depictions of actors in and out of character. Some of these date from the 1600s.

Archive and library

We work with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon to care for a large archive and library.

Photographs, posters, programmes, film and sound recordings are held in the archive. They often capture significant and memorable moments of a performance.  Posters and programmes offer an insight into the world of advertising and marketing, from the black and white flyers of the 19th century to the colour posters of the present day.

Further resources

To look for information about a specific past production, actor or play, visit the RSC Performance Database, provided by the Discover Shakespeare website.

For further enquiries, contact the Shakespeare Centre Library and Archive at scla@shakespeare.org.uk.

In the future you will be able to search our museum catalogue to see what we have in the collection. In the meantime, why not plan a visit to our major new exhibition, The Play's The Thing, opening in June 2016, to see some of our most interesting items in real life? If you have an enquiry about our collection, you can also email us at collection@rsc.org.uk.

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