Allardyce Nicoll founded the Shakespeare Institute in 1951 as a graduate centre of the University of Birmingham specializing in the study of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. It was originally housed in Mason Croft, Stratford-upon-Avon, an eighteenth-century house formerly the home of the novelist Marie Corelli. Later Directors were T. J. B. Spencer (from 1961), Philip Brockbank (from 1979), Stanley Wells (from 1988), and Peter Holland (from 1997). During Spencer's directorship and for some years thereafter the Institute operated mainly in Birmingham, but its work has centred on Stratford again since 1989. It holds extensive collections of books, microfilms, and other research materials. The home of the biennial International Shakespeare Conference, whose membership is by invitation, it has a close connection with Shakespeare Survey, also founded by Nicoll and later edited by Wells. Successive Directors have been General Editors of the New Penguin, New Cambridge, and Oxford editions.
Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism.