This is a research guide for finding materials on theater in the Greenfield Library at The University of the Arts. Reference materials are the first tab, followed by suggested subject headings for searching library catalogs. Periodical indexes to magazine articles and newspapers are next, followed by style manuals and finally Web sites. If you have questions about this topic please contact Sara MacDonald (firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-717-6282), Public Services Librarian.
If you're interested in theater you may also be interested in Character Research for Theater.
The first place to look when beginning research on a topic is in reference material: specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias or handbooks. These allow you to check names, dates and places, find additional information, look up unknown terms, and check for the proper spelling of words. They are particularly helpful for finding basic background information on a topic, and are often the only place many students may need to look to find answers to their questions. They may include bibliographies (lists of additional materials on a topic, usually considered by the author to be the best materials on that topic) that you can use to find other materials.
Call numbers are for the Greenfield Library unless otherwise indicated. REF in front of a call number indicates the reference section of the library, which in Greenfield is opposite the circulation desk.
REFERENCE BOOKS || DIRECTORIES || CRITICISM
REF 790.203 Os5a
REF 812.016 Am35g
REF 792.0973 B644 2004
REF 792.03 B758h 1994
REF 792.03 P288d
REF 792.0973 C144w 2007
REF 792.03 C144b 1995
REF 809.2003 C723c v.1-2
REF 792.03 Ox25c 1992
REF 792.097471 L536e 1920-30 v. 1-2
REF 792.097471 L536e 1930-40
REF 792.03 En19e
North American Theatre Online. Alexander Street Press, 2005 - .
A growing resource that includes the text of titles such as Oxford Companion to the American Theatre (3rd ed.), Notable Women in the American Theatre (1989), Encyclopedia of the New York Stage, 1920-1930, American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969-2000 (2001), Profiles of African American Stage Performers and Theatre People, 1816-1960 and more to come.
REF 792.03 H247l
REF 809.2 M178h vols. 1-5
REF 792.03 Ox2k v. 1-2. See also the online version of Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance.
Selected Theatre Criticism / Edited by Anthony Slide. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1985-
REF 792.015 Se48 v. 1, 1900-1919; v. 2, 1920-1930; v. 3, 1930-1950.
Selected reprints (i.e., the entire review) of theater reviews for the years covered.
The Crown Guide to the World's Great Plays: From Ancient Greece to Modern Times / by Joseph T. Shipley. Rev., updated ed. NY: Crown Publishers, c1984.
REF 809.2 Sh64c 1984
Handbook of Russian Literature. Edited by Victor Terras. New Haven: Yale University Press, c1985.
REF 891.703 H191t
The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. 2nd ed. Edited by M.C. Howatson. Oxford University Press, 1989.
REF 880.3 H26 1989
The four literary criticism titles published by Gale listed below provide biographical information on authors, including playwrights, and excerpts of criticism. There are cumulating indexes and cumulating title indexes.
To find current theater reviews, consult the periodical indexes.
- Contemporary Literary Criticism. Gale Research, 1973- .
REF 809 C76
Available online as one of the UArts Libraries' subscription databases.
- Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Gale Research, 1973- .
REF 809.034 N6225
- Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Gale Research, 1973- .
REF 809.04 G131t
- Drama Criticism: Criticism of the Most Significant and Widely Studied Dramatic Works from all the World's Literatures. Gale Research, c1991- .
REF 809.2 D79g vols. 1- .
- Analytical Sourcebook of Concepts in Dramatic Theory / Oscar Lee Brownstein and Darlene M. Daubert. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981.
REF 801.952 B825a
Use the University Libraries catalog to find books, videos, CDs, scores, journal titles, etc. Use the following subject headings in the online catalog. Be careful to follow the exact spelling and form. These subject headings are standard and are used in most libraries.
These subject headings are linked to run the respective subject heading search in the University Libraries' online catalog.ACTING--HISTORY
DRAMA--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
DRAMA--20TH CENTURY--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
GREEK DRAMA (COMEDY)
GREEK DRAMA (TRAGEDY)
THEATER--PRODUCTION AND DIRECTION
THEATERS--DESIGNS AND PLANS
THEATERS--STAGE-SETTING AND SCENERY
THEATRICAL PRODUCERS AND DIRECTORS
Magazine and journal articles will always be the best place to look for current information on your topic. Periodical indexes are research tools that allow you to search for articles in journals and magazines.
Go to the library's Article Databases and Indexes page for a list of the UArts Libraries' subscription indexes.
I've found articles I want to read. Now what?
There are different ways to find an article once you retrieve a citation in the index:
- See if there is a link in the index you're using to a full-text article online and download it or e-mail it to yourself.
- Check to see if our library holds the journal title. Look up the journal title or the ISSN*** in the catalog and look at the holdings.
- ***What is an ISSN? ISSN stands for International Standard Serial Number and is a unique number for a magazine or journal (not individual articles, but the magazine/journal title itself). You can use it in the UArts Libraries catalog and in many periodical indexes and databases. Searching with a number is much more precise than typing out a long title.
- Use interlibrary loan to request materials not owned by the UArts Libraries.
- See what other libraries in the area hold the journal.
When you find information on a topic, no matter what format it takes (book, journal, Web page), there are style manuals to show you the correct way to give cite those sources in a paper.
Searching the Web can be overwhelming. If you are using the Internet for research you want to choose sites that meet the standards of accuracy, currency and authority.
Below are just a few theater-related sites that may be of interest to the University of the Arts community. Sites are usually selected for inclusion here because they have a lot of good links, so explore and look for that Web page's links.
"HowlRound is a story of artists and theater makers sharing dissonant opinions, engaging in in-depth dialogue, and promoting best practices with the hope of ensuring a vibrant future for our field. Our stories live in a theater commons—shared resources available to all." Content includes an online journal, a livestreaming TV network, new play map, Commons Producers studying playwright residencies, convenings & symposia, and The Weekly Howl. Follow @HowlRound or visit on https://www.facebook.com/HowlRound.
Costume Society of America
"The Costume Society of America advances the global understanding of all aspects of dress and appearance. We work to stimulate scholarship and encourage study in the rich and diverse field of costume."
This Web site appears on just about every costume Web site's links.
Excellent and thorough site by Lori Ricigliano at the University of Puget Sound. If you're doing dramaturgy this is worth spending some time with.
IDEA - The International Dialects of English Archive
Preparing for an audition or a role? Learning an accent? This is fun and free (but it is copyrighted).
Jack Wolcott's Theatre History on the Web
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Great library, great Web pages. Follow them on social media.
Theatre Communications Group (TCG)
TCG's mission: "To strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre... our programs further our core values of fostering connection, embracing diversity and supporting artistry in the American theatre. In all our endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of our member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field, and promote a larger public understanding of and appreciation for the theatre." TCG publishes the magazine, American Theatre, plus various directories, plays and books. Note the link for Tools and Research.
Theatre Library Association, New York NY
"The Theatre Library Association is a non-profit, educational organization established in 1937 to promote the collection, preservation, and use of theatrical and performing arts materials. Membership includes librarians, scholars, curators, archivists, performers, writers, designers, historians, collectors, and students."
United States Institute for Theatre Technology
"Serving professionals and pre-professionals in design, production, and technology for the performing arts since 1960, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) is a place to network, exchange ideas, and grow."