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Northwest Missouri State University

Library Home » Articles & Guides » Theatre Arts Research » Theatre History Research Guide

Theatre History Research Guide

Link to the research paper and presentation assignment description for Theatre History III.

Books in Academic Libraries
Search for books at Owens
and other Missouri libraries.
Articles & Guides
Locate articles on theatre and drama topics in scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers.
Plays & and Play Authors
Locate plays and criticism about plays as well as biographical information about play authors.
Primary Sources
Tips for finding primary source materials including letters, diaries, autobiographies, news accounts, and stage histories.
World Wide Web
Sources and strategies for searching the web for scholarly theater resources.
MLA Style
See examples of how to cite various sources, including books and journals.
Related Fine Arts
This is a partial list of resources for other fine arts related to theatre.
Newspaper Sources
Use newspaper articles as primary source documents. These can include play reviews and other first hand accounts of play production. This can also include interviews with play authors, directors, actors, or stage designers.
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Books in Academic Libraries: Online Catalogs and eBooks

Library Catalog

Search the library catalog for books located in Owens Library, in 4 academic libraries
in our Towers region, or in over 50 MOBIUS Missouri academic libraries. REQUEST books Owens Library does not own from MOBIUS libraries.

Use this database to search for books across the United States outside of Missouri and borrow them using Interlibrary Loan Book/Microfilm Request.

Tips for Using Printed Books
Get the most out of the printed books in our collection by keeping these tips in mind.

Search Owens Library's eBook collection of over 52,000 volumes, including hundreds of eBooks on drama, theater, and related arts.

Google Book Search
Use Google Books Search to search entire book contents for keywords or phrases and view the keywords or phrases in context. Use the Find this book in a library link to determine the closest library owning the book (and then use MOBIUS REQUEST or InterLibrary Loan to obtain a copy of the book).

Articles & Guides and Locate Full Text When Available

Find Drama & Theatre Articles

Use these periodical databases to search for articles about various aspects of drama, theater, and related arts.

Theatre Arts Periodical Databases
These supplement the databases listed under Find Drama & Theatre Ariticles and provide additional sources for finding contemporary primary news articles about drama and theatre.

Newspaper Sources
Use this page to locate print and online sources for newspaper articles.

Articles & Guides
Link to all periodical databases available through Owens Library.
icon Locating Periodicals in Owens Library       
     Learn how to find the call number, the format/media type, and the Owens Library location
     of a periodical title, i.e., NOT the title of the journal or magazine article itself.
icon Types of Periodicals
     Determine how to tell the difference between a scholarly journal and a popular magazine.
icon Locating Peer-Reviewed Periodicals 
     Discover how to limit a search to refereed or peer-reviewed articles.

Plays & Play Authors

Search For Plays

Use this page to help locate play texts from a variety of sources.

Literature Resource Center
Locate full text play author biographies and literature criticism articles on historical and contemporary plays.

Drama for Students Online
Find full "text critical overviews of the most-studied plays of all time periods, nations, and cultures. Includes discussions of themes, characters, critical reception, dramatic devices and traditions as well as cultural and historical context."

Drama & Theatre Sources: Biography
This page points to several reference books that provide biographical information about play authors and others involved in theater production.

Literary Index
At this site, search by title of play or play author name to locate articles in reference books published by the Gale Group, a highly respected publisher of literary reference materials. Drama for Students and Drama Criticism are two valuable reference titles that give play author biographical information and details about the meaning and critical reception of specific plays.

Theatre Appreciation
Examples of search strategy and links to library resources for researching theater topics from antiquity to the present day.

Western Theatre Timeline
This related series of pages gives and chronological and geographical snapshot of the development of theater from antiquity to the present.

 Drama Criticism Sources in Owens Library

Primary Sources

Search the library catalog for books located in Owens Library, in 4 academic libraries
in our Towers region, or in over 50 MOBIUS Missouri academic libraries. REQUEST books Owens Library does not own from MOBIUS libraries.

a) Search for books with letters, diaries, interviews, and other primary source documents
tennessee williams and s:correspondence
samuel beckett and s:interviews
arthur miller and s:sources

b) Search for books focusing on the historical aspects of staging plays
chekov and s:stage history

c) Search for books about a specific play, play author, director, stage designer with possible primary source material
taymor and s:criticism

2) Search for newspaper and magazine article accounts of performances and theater events

a) Use Reader's Guide Retrospective to search for reviews, interviews, and other firsthand accounts of plays and performances from 1890-1982
"emperor jones" and "theater reviews"
b) Use the print New York Times index to locate theater reviews and other firsthand accounts of plays and performances from 1851-2003 or search the index online
NW Owens Reference N Wall    016.07 N53n

World Wide Web: Theater Resources

Drama and Theatre WWW Resources

These sites are chosen by Owens librarians to complement course assignments in theatre.

Search the Internet
A list of search engines and search strategies for getting the most out of the Internet for college level assignments.

Google Scholar
Beta test site for Google's search engine for exclusively scholarly books, articles, documents, and web sites.

Fine Arts Resources

Art Research

Fine Arts Print Reference Sources
A list of the essential fine arts reference works in Owens Library.

English Research (for literature sources)

History of Dance Research Guide

Music Research

Oxford Art Online
"Oxford Art Online is an innovative new gateway that offers users the ability to access and search the vast content of Grove Art Online and Oxford art reference in one location. With the 2007 complete redesign of Grove Art Online, as well as the addition of substantial new Oxford reference content, Oxford Art Online offers the most extensive and easily searchable online art resource available today, a virtual art reference library of unparalleled scope and depth."

Oxford Music Online
"Oxford Music Online is a new gateway that offers users the ability, for the first time ever, to access and cross-search the vast resources of Oxford's music reference in one location. The cornerstone of Oxford Music Online, Grove Music Online, has been completely redesigned with a number of functional enhancements and new content."

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