The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon (UK)

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of his works, life and times all over the world

Our History

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was formed in 1847 following the purchase of Shakespeare’s Birthplace as a national memorial. The Trust now cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites – the five beautifully preserved homes and gardens directly linked to Shakespeare and his family in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Together, Shakespeare’s family homes form an iconic destination in the UK which has been attracting visitors from around the globe for centuries. Today, a tour of these houses takes you on a natural journey through Shakespeare’s life from his birth at the house on Henley Street, to his mature family home and eventual death at Shakespeare’s New Place.

More about Shakespeare’s family homes

World class collections

At the heart of all things ‘Shakespeare’, the Trust holds the world’s largest Shakespeare-related library, museum and archives open to the public, with over 1 million documents, 55,000 books and 12,000 museum objects. We also care for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s archive of theatre records, as well as an extensive local history archive of Stratford-upon-Avon and South Warwickshire, with records dating back to the twelfth century.

Our collections have been Designated as being of international importance. They are accessible to the public in our historic homes, via our online catalogue or by visiting the Reading Room at the Shakespeare Centre here in Stratford-upon-Avon.

More about our collections

Learning for all

The Trust runs a world-class, award winning programme of formal and informal educational programmes and literary lectures, to encourage the appreciation and study of Shakespeare’s works, and the advancement of Shakespearian knowledge on an international scale. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is also headquarters of the International Shakespeare Association, providing an opportunity for individuals and institutions to join together to further the knowledge of Shakespeare throughout the world.

More about learning at SBT

Research activity

We have members of staff who are research active and contribute to conferences and events around the world. We continue to produce new publications and to engage in academic debate around Shakespeare’s works, life and times. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is also the headquarters of the International Shakespeare Association and plays an active role in the World Shakespeare Congress.

More about research at the Trust


Find out more about who we are and what we do to share Shakespeare with the world in this short video:


CUSHA at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

The Stratford side of the Culture Shake project is managed by the Learning and Participation team at the Trust. Lisa Peter, who is the International Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies and the expert on teaching Shakespeare to language learners form all over the world, is the Stratford project lead and responsible for the method guide Shakespeare in the 21st-Century Classroom and the workshop phase in Stratford in September 2017.

In her teaching at the Trust, Lisa particularly looks after international groups whose first language is any other than English, and she specialises in Shakespeare translations and the Shakespeare reception around the world. She launched a new range of educational sessions for language learners at the Trust and for the Shakespeare anniversary year 2016 she co-developed the Massive Open Online Course Exploring English: Shakespeare together with the British Council. In addition, Lisa contributed to the BBC Learning English series Shakespeare Speaks and she has written study guides for Digital Theatre Plus. Lisa offers teacher training sessions for language teachers at the Trust and she regularly speaks at international conferences on the topic of teaching Shakespeare to language learners.


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