The documentary research activity is focusing on building up two master data sets. One is subdivided by the sixty or so buildings that stood in High Street and Chapel Street and traces the history of their ownership and occupancy over the period 1570-1650, including, of course, any evidence of fire damage. The second set is subdivided by the families known to have been associated with these properties over the same period. The research is not confined to buildings that still stand. Documentary evidence may still survive for buildings since demolished and if this yields information on fire damage, it also becomes a part of the assessment of overall damage.
Previous investigation at SBT in the 1980s by another team of volunteers recorded the History of High Street, the History of Chapel Street and the History of Bridge Street. References to the residents of all streets in the Town Centre have been noted on property cards.
Ten volunteers are helping with the documentary research, led by Dr Robert Bearman. Numerous meetings of the Group have been held for briefing and feedback, with a series of supervised visits to the Reading Room at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT).