Resources by Subject Drama & Theater

Reference Sources (Background)
Locating Books
Locating Articles (Databases & Indexes)
Evaluating Sources
Citing Sources

For additional sources relating to musical theater, see the Music page.

Reference Sources (Background)

ARTstor (images)
An international digital library of approximately 550,000 images in the areas of art, the humanities, and social sciences contributed by museums, individual photographers, scholars, special collections at libraries, and photo archives. View a guide for finding images in the fields of fashion and costume and theater and dance.

Credo Reference (current, full text)
Over 500 reference books and sets from several publishers covering all subject areas.

Selected Volumes in the Dictionary of Literary Biography
Ref PS129 .D48 and in Literature Resource Center
Entries each include a list of works and a bibliography.
Afro-American Writers After 1955: Dramatists and Prose Writers (1985, volume 38)
British Dramatists since World War II (1982, volume 13)
Elizabethan Dramatists (1987, volume 62)
Jacobean and Caroline Dramatists (1987, volume 58)
Modern British Dramatists, 1900-1945 (1982, volume 10)
Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Dramatists (1989, volume 80)
Twentieth-Century American Dramatists (1981, volume 7)
Twentieth-Century German Dramatists, 1919-1992 (1992, volume 124)

Dictionary of the Theatre: Terms, Concepts, and Analysis (1998)
Ref PN2035 .P2913 1998
Defines terms related to performance and study of theater. Includes a bibliography.

International Dictionary of Theatre (1992, 3 volumes)
Ref PN2035 .I49
Volumes on Plays; Playwrights; and Actors, Directors, & Designers. This series provides long essays with bibliographies for each of its subjects, along with photos, chronologies, etc.

McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama (1984, 5 volumes)
Ref PN1625 .M3 1984
Signed entries with bibliographies and some photos, covering all aspects of world drama.

The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (2005)
Ref PN1625 .P38 2005
Brief entries of 1000 plays, arranged by title. Includes a bibliography, lists of plays by country of origin and by period, and indexes of characters and playwrights.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre & Performance (2003, 2 volumes)
Ref PN2035 .O94 2003
Signed alphabetical entries of various lengths on people, places, terms, etc. Suggestions for further reading are at the end of volume 2.

Oxford Reference Online: Performing Arts (current, full text)
Search reference books published by Oxford University Press. Includes The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre and The Oxford Companion to American Theatre, and among others.

Finding Books

The Library of Congress Classification for drama is PN, but books may be located in several places:

MT955-MT956 Musical theater
PN1600-3307 Drama (including movies)
PQ500-591 French drama
PQ6098.7-6129 Spanish drama
PR621-744 English drama
PS330-353 American drama
PT605-709 German drama

The library's online catalog, providing access to books, journals, music, and movies in the library.

A catalog of books and other materials in libraries worldwide.

Books and articles not owned by our library can be obtained from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan. Allow sufficient time for processing.  Average turnaround time is 3-5 days for articles and 3-14 days for books, excluding holidays and weekends. Submit ILL requests well in advance of deadlines.

Locating Articles (Databases & Indexes)

MLA International Bibliography (1925 to present, citation only)
The premier database for literature research. Provides a comprehensive international listing of books, articles, and dissertations.

Literature Online - LION (full text)
Full text of over 350,000 literary works of English and American poetry, drama and prose; also includes full-text of over 300 journals, author biographies, and reference and criticism resources.

JSTOR (dates vary by journal, full text)
An archive of over 400 journals in many disciplines.

Project MUSE (generally late 1990s to present, full text)
Coves over 300 journals in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

Academic Search Complete (1988 to present, some full-text)
Articles from selected popular magazines and scholarly journals in all disciplines.

Once you know which journals you need, search Journals A-Z to see if they are online or in the library.


American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment 1870-1920 (Library of Congress)
The New Deal Stage: Selections from the Federal Theatre Project 1935-1939 (Library of Congress)
Both of these sites are online presentations of collections from the American Memory project.

The Costumer's Manifesto
Portal to resources on every imaginable topic related to costumes.

Internet Broadway Database
Information on current and past Broadway productions. Look-up by show title, cast, character, song, and more.

IPL2: Theater
A database of librarian-selected websites related to theater.

Lortel Archives: The Internet Off-Broadway Database
Information on Off-Broadway productions. Look-up by show title, cast, theater, awards, company, and more.

Playbill Online
Current information and news about professional theater.

Theater History on the Web (Jack Wolcott, retired U of Washington)
Portal with annotated links related to theater history, arranged by period and topic (such as costumes, lighting, etc.).
Portal to sites related to theater production. Includes categories for lighting, marketing, production management, as well as a glossary of technical theater terms.

Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources (R-MC)

Is it POPULAR or is it SCHOLARLY? (R-MC)

Critical Evaluation of Resources on the Internet (University of Alberta Libraries)

Citing Sources

Citing Full-Text from Library Databases (R-MC)

KnightCite (Calvin College)
Automatically formats citation information according to MLA, APA, or Chicago styles.

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