This is the "Getting Started" page of the "Theater Studies" guide.
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Last Updated: May 4, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

Finding Background Info

Literature Resource Center great source of biographical and critical info about playwrights

Oxford Reference Online: Performing Arts includes Oxford subject encyclopedias in the performing arts and other subjects

Cambridge Companions search across volumes on authors (Arthur Miller, August Wilson, American Women Playwrights), genre (Companion to American Modernism), and more


Finding Play Texts

Play Index search by author, title, cast characteristics; use "get it @ duke" button to find plays in the library or online

Online playscripts plus images, playbills, and more:

20th Century North American Drama

Asian-American Drama

Black Drama: 1850-present

EEBO (Early English Books Online, 1475-1700)

ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collection Online, 1701-1800)



Streaming Video & Audio

BBC Shakespeare collection Between 1978 and 1985, the BBC televised Shakespeare's entire canon of 37 plays.

OntheBoards.TV  View full-length performances by some of today's most provocative artists working in dance, theater, music and other non-traditional forms.

Theater in video  Watch performances of the world's leading plays, together with film documentaries

Audio Drama: LA Theatre Works  Radio performances of classic plays, modern works, and docudramas.

Finding Scholarly Articles, Reviews, & More: Research Databases

Specific to Theater

IIPA International Index to the Performing Arts; reviews and critical articles

MLA International Bibliography core literature database, good source for critical articles, dramatic literature, but not reviews

ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature) from the UK: critical articles, dramatic literature


Academic One File scholarly journals in all fields, plus popular/media sources

Humanities International Complete good coverage of theater and other humanities subjects

Proquest scholarly journals in all fields, plus popular/media sources

Project Muse (current) and JSTOR (historical issues) full-text collections of core scholarly journals in all fields

Popular/News Sources (popular media performance reviews, author/actor interviews)

America's Newspapers full text newspapers (scroll down for link)

America's Historical Newspapers 1690-1922

Lexis Nexis Academic full text newspapers, magazines, TV and radio news transcripts

Proquest Historical Newspapers Atlanta Constitution (1868-1939), Atlanta Daily World (1932-2003), Chicago Defender (1905-1975), Los Angeles Times (1881-1986), New York Times (1851-2004), Wall Street Journal (1889-1990), and the Washington Post (1877-1991)


    Find Books, Films, & More: Duke Catalog, SearchTRLN and Worldcat

    The library catalog (click on Books & Media tab)is the Libraries' inventory of what we own or have access to at Duke. Locate books, playscripts, films, recordings, journals, and more. Start with a keyword search, and narrow results using the column on the left.

    Sample search: "cabaret" search in subject heading

    Search TRLN is a combined library catalog for research libraries in the Triangle. Use it to find and request books from UNC-Chapel Hill, NCCU, or NC State.  Delivery to campus in 2-3 business days.

    Can't wait?  You can use your Duke Card to check books out and access online resources at TRLN partner libraries if you make the trip yourself!

    WorldCat is a combined library catalog for most libraries in the US, please several in the UK and elsewhere. Use "get it @ Duke" to request what Duke doesn't own via Document Delivery/nterlibrary Loan.  Allow at least 2 weeks.

    Librarian for Literature and Theater Studies

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    Arianne Hartsell-Gundy
    Contact Info
    William R. Perkins Library, 233G
    Duke University, Box 90195
    Durham, NC 27708
    Send Email

    Citing Sources

    Check out these sites for tips on citing sources:

    Choose a citation management program such as Zotero to help manage and organize your resources and format your paper's bibliography.


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