British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access


The Shakespeare Institute Library is one of the major research libraries in the country for the study of Shakespeare and Renaissance literature. As well as collections on Shakespeare and contemporaries such as John Webster, Ben Jonson and Christopher Marlowe, the library holds the exciting and varied offerings of lesser known playwrights such as James Shirley, George Gascoign, John Lyly, Henry Chettle, Anthony Munday and Thomas Dekker. From plays performed at the major London theatres such as the Globe, the Swan, and the Rose, to masques and entertainments held in towns around Britain for the entertainment of Elizabeth I, the scope of the collections is extensive. The library also holds a wealth of supporting information, placing this revolutionary period of literature in its social and historical context with collections on the literary, cultural, political, religious and social history of the period.
The Shakespeare Institute Library aims to collect films and sound recordings relating to English Drama 1564-1642, particularly the works of William Shakespeare. Includes commercially available recordings and off-air television and radio recordings. Archive collections include unpublished Shakespeare filmscripts and the archive for the Shakespeare: Animated Tales series. Significant holdings of secondary criticism on
Shakespeare on film, television, and radio.
Artefact description
Renaissance Films PLC archive, 1988-1992: The collection comprises a small number of scripts and a brochure, relating to the work of Renaissance Films PLC. Scripts are from the films ‘Henry V’ (released 1989), and ‘Peter’s Friends’ (1992). The brochure also relates to ‘Henry V’. Unpublished Shakespeare Film Script collection: collection of unpublished screenplays and shooting scripts for film adaptations of Shakespeare plays. Includes ‘West Side Story’, 1961 (Dir. Wise & Robbins); ‘King Lear’, 1971 (Dir: Brook); ‘Romeo and Juliet’, 1968 (Dir. Zeffirelli); ‘As You Like It’, 1992 (Dir. Edzard); ‘Othello’, 1995 (Dir. Parker); ‘Romeo and Juliet’, 1996 (Dir. Luhrmann); ‘Hal’ (adaptation of ‘Henry IV’), 1998 (Dir. Parks); ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’, 1999 (Dir. Branagh); ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, 1999 (Dir. Hoffman); ‘As You Like It’, 2006 (Dir. Branagh)
Theatre; Shakespeare, William
Library Opening Hours : Monday - Thursday: 9am - 8pm Friday - Saturday: 9am - 5pm Sunday: 10am - 5pm Accessing the Library: Members of the University can enter the library automatically and use the full range of library facilities. Visitors to the Library should contact staff during core hours (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) in order to arrange access. Visiting students and teaching staff can apply to join the University of Birmingham libraries through the Sconul scheme. Ask your home library for further details. Members of the public should ask at the Reception and Information Desk for a day pass (each time you visit you will be asked for current identification - a driver’s licence or bank card). Your public library may also be able to refer you to us under the Inspire Referral Scheme. Anyone visiting out of core hours or at weekends should have a valid Library ID. For further details contact staff:, or telephone 0121 414 9525
Access for outsiders
4 video recorders (PAL and NTSC)
For student productions recorded in videotape.

Moving Image, Audio and Related Documentation Holdings

c.1,000 (100,000 in total)
100 CDs. 100 LPs. Film scripts.
1964- to present.
c.30 (300 in total)
250 videos

Artefact and Related Documentation Holdings

Animation artwork and cels
Scripts and treatments; Storyboards; Promotional literature


Computerised database
This is the online catalogue of the archives and manuscripts held in three separate repositories at the University of Birmingham: the Special Collections Department in the University’s Main Library; the Orchard Learning Resources Centre on the Selly Oak Campus; and the Shakespeare Institute Library at Stratford-upon-Avon. Every record in the catalogue indicates at which site the individual collections are held.
Online catalogue
Library OPAC
Digitised catalogue

Additional Information

Artefact notes

Main Contact

Karin Brown
Job title
Library Services Assistant Manager
0121 414 9525
01789 292021
Library Services
University of Birmingham
Mason Croft, Church Street
CV37 6HP

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