Stratford Festival Archives

Tourism Region: Southwestern Ontario

The Stratford Festival Archives is one of the oldest formally constituted collections of its kind in North America, holding the production and administration history of the Stratford Festival of Canada, which was founded in 1952. Our holdings include costumes, props, design sketches and original art, wardrobe bibles, correspondence and general office files, photographs, videos, audiotapes, prompt and stage manager's books, scripts, play scores, set models, architectural plans and blueprints, publicity files and publications including press books, newsletters and programmes, biographical files, and special collections including personal donations. We have some Shakespeareana and commemorative materials, plus exhibit, display and other oversize materials including sculpture and scenic art in our collection. With a staff of two, we respond primarily to internal requests, however we are open to researchers on an appointment basis.



350 Douro Street
Stratford, Ontario
N5A 6V2

Telephone: 519-271-4040
Fax: 519-271-1040

Mailing Address: 
Stratford Festival Archives
P.O. Box 520, 55 Queen Street, Stratford, Ontario
N5A 6V2

Visit the Website
Email Us

Hours of Operation

Operations: By Appointment

Open year-round for research. Offer tours to archives classes or theatre groups. Produce theatrical exhibitions in our four venues.

Open: We are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We only close over the lunch hour when one of staff is on vacation or off sick.

Closed: Saturday • Sunday
We are closed on Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labour Day, Thanksgiving, and for one week over Christmas and New Year's Day.

Administration fees

Admission: Charged
We charge an hourly rate of $15 to commerical researchers. If we perform the research the fee is $25 per hour.

Discounts: Students

About Collections

Administrative and original artistic materials produced by or relating to the Stratford Festival; production materials include promptbooks, designs, playscores; publicity materials include photographs, publications, press clippings; also audio-visual material, costumes, properties

Approximate number of objects in the collections: 500,000


As above, we hold the entire textual, documentary, visual and aural collection of the Stratford Festival of Canada, including costumes and props.

Architectural Records • Electronic Records • Prints and Drawings • Manuscripts • Microforms • Films and Videos • Photographs • Sound Recordings • Textual Records
Other: Some special collections which include personal donations of correspondence, art, photographs, scrapbooks and so on.

Decorative Arts

Our collection includes costumes, accessories including jewellery, millinery, footwear, headwear, personal props, set-pieces large and small, original art including costume sketches, paintings, watercolours, blueprints, architectural plans and set renderings, sculpture.

Costumes • Furniture or Furnishings • Glass • Metalwork, Silverwork or Goldwork • Textiles or Tapestries

Fine Arts

We have a large collection of original theatrical costume, prop and set renderings, plus a smaller collection of original art, mainly theatrical in theme by such artists as Tanya Moiseiwitsch, Desmond Heeley and Susan Benson, plus original artwork and sculpture by Viktor Tinkel, Mary Hecht, Pauline Redsell-Fediow, Grant Macdonald, Harold Town and Charles Pachter among others. We also have early artworks (mainly etchings) dating to the 16th and 17th century.

American • Canadian • European

Contemporary • Modern • Historical

Mixed Media, Multimedia or Installations • Painting • Photography • Sculpture • Sketchbooks or Albums • Film and Video

Human History

As the Archives for a performing arts institution - one of the largest in the world - we hold many items of interest.

Ceremonial Objects • Costumes and Accessories • Manuscripts • Maps, Charts, Plans or Blueprints • Masks • Memorabilia • Oral History • Performing Arts • Weapons

Services & Activities

We offer internal and external research services on all topics relating to the Stratford Festival of Canada. We also offer a photo rental service, mainly to the academic press. We offer tours to other professional or educational organizations by appointment only. Regular tours will be offered at 10 and 10:30 am on Wednesday mornings during the months of July and August for a small admission fee. We occasionally provide items for display in other museums or theatres.

Research Services

We allow researchers to come on-site to research topics related to the Stratford Festival specifically, or on theatre or Shakespeare or theatrical productions. We also will perform research on behalf of patrons.

Archival Records • Films • Library • Slide Library • Video Library
Other: Internally we perform research in support of all departments.

Educational Programs

Our archival materials are available for educational research, and teachers, students and academics make frequent use of them. We offer tours to university groups in the fields of archives, education and theatre. Regular tours will be offered at 10 and 10:30 am on Wednesday mornings during the months of July and August for a small admission fee.
The Stratford Festival's Education Department offers an extensive program of lectures, seminars, discussions and other educational programs.

Classes or Workshops • Demonstrations • Family Programs • Internships • Lectures • School Programs

Visitor Services

The Archives offer guided tours occasionally, but generally only to university classes. Tours will be offered to interested individuals with some academic or professional interest during July and August 2010 at 10 and 10:30 am on Wednesday mornings. Tours can be booked through the Festival Box Office.

Parking Facilities : Free • Washrooms • Special Needs Facilities : Parking : Wheelchair access

Food Services


Internet Services

General InformationEventsEducationSchool Visits or ProgramsDirections or Map

Local Tourism Links

Local AttractionsHotelsRestaurantsShoppingOther Services

Other Services

We offer a photo rental service, mainly to the academic press, however sometimes to general publishers, and to newspapers and magazines.

Publications & Products

The Stratford Festival Archives publishes the "Background Book" each season. It is a compendium of facts, figures and background information on each season's offerings and is for sale to the public.
The Stratford Festival of Canada produces a wide variety of products including programmes, newsletters, and souvenir items as checked off below.

Books • Postcards • Posters • T-Shirts or Sweatshirts or Caps • Commemorative Souvenirs • Videos