Collections policy


If you have an item that you would like to give as a gift to the library, please read our collection policy below as a first step. This is to make sure we are the best library to receive and benefit from your gift. To make a donation please email As part of this you'll need to complete our gift agreement form. 

Collection policy

We aim to support the learning and teaching objectives of Shakespeare Institute staff and students, as well as serving as the University of Birmingham's central resource for Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. Our collections also serve as an international resource for UK and international Shakespeare scholars.

Types of materials

 We aim to collect the following types of resources:

  • Printed books
  • Periodicals
  • Electronic publications, databases and other resources
  • Archives relating to textual scholarship and performance studies, e.g. literary and theatrical manuscripts and ephemera
  • Microforms to support staff and student research
  • Multimedia resources

Subjects covered

The remit for our collections is English Renaissance literature and drama, with a predominant focus on Shakespeare. This means we have a special responsibility for collecting material on:

  • Shakespeare's life
  • Shakespeare's works, adaptations, legacy and influence
  • The life and works of contemporary English Renaissance writers
  • Criticism of Shakespeare and English Renaissance literature
  • The socio-historical background to English Renaissance literature
  • The sources and analogues for the works
  • The performance of Shakespeare's plays and those of his contemporaries from original performance to present day, throughout the world
  • The history of theatre and drama
  • The culural influence and value of Shakespeare on life, literature and the arts
  • Shakespeare in education, teaching practices and editions (not key stage material)
  • The history of printing and editing