Popular Searches

Getting Started

The following resources are helpful places to start at the beginning of the research process.

Theatre reference books

 Online resources

  • A Brief Guide to Internet Resources in Theatre and Performance Studies: A list of websites related to theatre. Each site listed has been vetted by Professor Ken McCoy from Stetson University.
  • Credo Reference: Great starting point for research projects. Search in hundreds of encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, quotations, and subject-specific titles, as well as 200,000+ images and audio files, and nearly 200 videos.
  • Glossary of Technical Theatre Terms: From the University of Exeter Drama Department, this extensive, searchable glossary includes British and American terms.
  • Internet Broadway Database: The official database for Broadway theatre information. IBDB provides records of productions from the beginnings of New York theatre until today.
  • Library of Congress Performing Arts Reading Room: From the Library of Congress, this site includes the Performing Arts Encyclopedia (PAE), as well as a well organized list of performing arts internet resources.
  • Literary Reference Center: Search several major reference works simultaneously to find biographies of playwrights, overviews of literary/theatrical movements, and synopses of well known works.
  • Speech Accent Archive: Browse or search this audio collection of over 1200 samples from George Mason University, in which “Native and non-native speakers of English read the same paragraph and are carefully transcribed.” Potentially useful for actors wishing to use various English language accents.

Books, Plays, and Plot

Books from Lane Library

Theatre books, including plays, are mainly located in the P call number areas in the library.

  • Call number PN: general literature & plays
  • Call number PR: English literature & plays
  • Call number PS: American literature & plays

Discovery Search: Search Lane Library’s books, ebooks, and articles in one place.

Books from other libraries

WorldCat: Search for books not available at Lane Library and borrow from other libraries for free through interlibrary loan.


The following databases are useful places to search for theatre-related articles. Contact a librarian if you would like information on how to search for articles on your specific topic.


  • Humanities International Complete: Broad coverage of humanities disciplines, with over 1200 full-text journals and books. Includes full-text for more than fifty theatre periodicals.
  • JSTOR: A full-text archive of over 400 scholarly journals in the arts and sciences. Issues from the past three to five years may not be available.
  • Literary Reference Center: Search by playwright, then look under the “Literary Criticism” and “Periodicals” tabs.
  • MLA International Bibliography: An index of scholarly works on literature and languages from around the world; includes several key theatre periodicals.
  • Oxford English Dictionary (OED): Entries offer detailed descriptions of the history, meaning, and pronunciation of English words.

Are you unable to find an article full-text online, please fill out the online interlibrary loan (ILL) “request an article” form found under the ILL section of Library services. (Learn more about Interlibrary Loan ).


Search for journals that cover theatre topics by using our Publication Finder tool. You can search for specific journals by title, subject, and more.

A few journals held by Lane Library that may be helpful for your theatre research include:

  • Comparative Drama
  • Modern Drama
  • TDR (The Drama Review)
  • TD&T: Theatre Design & Technology
  • Theatre Forum
  • Theatre History Studies
  • Theatre Notebook
  • Theatre Symposium

Get articles from other libraries

If you cannot find a full-text version of the article you need, request it through interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan is a free service that allows you to borrow books and articles from other libraries.


Academic Search Complete, Humanities International Complete, and Newspaper Source Plus: Simultaneous search of three databases for theatre reviews. Leave the subject term search for “THEATER — reviews” in the first box, and add a keyword search for the title of the play in quotes.

Proquest Research Library: From the advanced search screen, select “Review” from the Document Type menu, and do a keyword search for the title of the play in quotes.

Writing Guides and Citations

Chicago Manual of Style: Quick guide for citing using the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.

How to do a close reading: A thorough explanation of close reading from Harvard College Writing Center.

MLA Formatting and Style Guide: From Purdue’s Online Writing Lab. Covers MLA, 8th ed.

Schumacher, Karlyn

Access Services Librarian Lane Library Departments: Circulation, Interlibrary Loan, Course, Reserves

[email protected]