The Library Assistants and Mrs Beeson were delighted to have the opportunity to visit the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which offers so much. It is a place for research from different aspects like the archive sources; the artistic influences; the multicultural sides; its community elements and of course, from the Trust aspect, the wonderful legacy of Shakespeare!
There were some fantastic research opportunities with the varied range of resources and we were particularly captivated by some of the original texts with the beautiful, intricate image on the page edges, only revealed when the text was at a specific angle – just like appreciating the carefully woven, dramatic and poetic sides of Shakespeare.
From an Art point of view, there were some very impressive images of paintings and stage sets. These were indicative of the way in which some artists had interpreted moods and specific interaction between characters and audience: something that stood out for us was the paintings of John O’Connor’s original, ‘The Tempest’. Whilst as regards local history there were some records of the Stratford District area and the critical reviews of the plays at different times. Particularly special though are some of the Quartos and the First Folio with plays like ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (1600).
On the geographical side, there are some archive maps of the local area giving a clear, pictorial aspect of Stratford- Upon- Avon. Furthermore, from an historical and cultural, as well as dramatic point of view, there were records, critical reviews and recordings of the plays over different time spans. Not forgetting, with 80 languages represented, the diversity and the multi-cultural aspect of Shakespeare and the powerful messages in his plays for all the world!
This visit making us all realise the classic genius of Shakespeare.