Howdy! Welcome to the Theatre Arts Majors guide of Library Resources.

This is not a guide for research on a particular subject. For specialized assistance please visit a librarian at the Ask Here Desk. This guide gives suggestions on places or types of searches to help you find information regardless of topic. The tabs to the left will get you started.

What to make an appointment for one-on-one help? Please contact your liaison theatre librarian, Katherine Owens, at or 904-819-6485.

Title searching in the library's catalog requires you to enclose your title in quotation marks. For example you could search, "Cambridge History of American Theatre" or "Theatre as Human Action". When searching for an exact title leave off the 'the,' the 'a' and the 'an' at the beginning of the title.

Author searching is the same, only invert the author's name: "Shakespeare, William" or "Williams, Tennessee". In the library world, we organize people by their last name, not their first name.

Subject searching is a more targeted search than just typing words into a search bar. Subject terms are "official keywords" for a person, place, event, and/or historical time period. To find subject headings on your subject go to the Library of Congress LC Subject Headings search page. Once you find the official keywords to find books on your topic, you are able to use them in our catalog, for example "American drama" or "Theatrical makeup".

Just because we no longer have an advanced search feature does not mean you cannot create your own compound search. For example, you are doing a search on plays in the early 20th century: "Harlem Renaissance" and theater; or Gershwin, George not Gershwin, Ira. However, a compound search that includes a specific publication date range can now only be conducted from the results page of your search.

This is the alphabetical list of the databases most useful to the theatre arts major:

Academic Search Ultimate:
Full text for over 9,000 scholarly publications in almost every discipline including social sciences, humanities, education, arts & literature, and many more.

American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection:
The premier library documenting the life of America’s people from the Colonial Era through the Civil War and Reconstruction, to provide digital access to the most comprehensive collection of American periodicals published between 1684 and 1912.

American Periodical Series:
American Periodicals Series includes digitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals published from colonial days to the dawn of the 20th century.

Biography Reference Bank:
Contains biographical information on approximately half a million people, from antiquity to the present, along with thousands of images.

Black Freedom Struggle:
Primary source collection that includes government, organizational, and personal files covering the history of African-Americans in the United States between 1910 to the early 1980’s. FBI files and NAACP files are included.

Credo Reference:
A searchable collection of over 620 encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference books covering every subject area.

Digital Theatre Plus:
Provides video of full-length productions, exclusive study guides, backstage interviews with theatre professionals and additional study resources.

EBSCO Discovery:
A search engine that provides the ability to search almost all of the Library’s databases and electronic books from one simple search box.

EBSCO eBook Academic Subscription Collection:
A growing eBook collection that spans all academic subject areas.

Essay & General Literature Index:
Offers access to citations for articles since 1985 in the humanities and social sciences. This database is not full text.

Films on Demand:
Instant 24/7 access to thousands of high-quality television programs, documentaries, and educational films covering all subject areas.

International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text:
Contains journal articles, books, book chapters and dissertation abstracts on all aspects of theatre and performance in 126 countries.

Our only database dedicated solely to scholarly literature with articles in the fields of history, politicial science, archaeology, art history, anthropology, literature and languages, music, and more; however, JSTOR usually is unable to provide access to the most recently published articles.

A powerful database that includes the book collections of over 70,000 libraries in the world. Most useful as pre-research to doing an Inter-Library Loan request.

Not all websites are equal! Many private, governmental, or collegiate organizations have put together fine websites for use when doing research or for general knowledge. This list is not complete, but representative of some of the better online sites.

American Memory
This name is so iconic that it is a shame the Library of Congress is phasing it out. To search the old American Memory content, and other digital collections, please note the new name, Library of Congress: Digital Collections.
For information about plays and playwrights since 1956 who write in the English language. This database is a hobby of the webmaster and so a work-in-progress as he adds new information as it becomes known.

Elizabethan Costume Page

Access to multimedia related to plays from around the world, information on the plays and the playwrights

Glossary of Technical Theatre Terms

Internet Broadway Database

Motley Collection of Theatre and Costume Design
Digitalization of part of a collection at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, this website shows some of the costumes designed by Margaret and Sophia Harris and Elizabeth Montgomery between 1932 and 1976. They designed costumes for Shakespearean plays as well as others.

Performing Arts in America, 1875-1923


Ringling Collection: Images of 19th Century Actors & Actresses
A mostly photographic collection at the University of Florida of U.S. and British actors and actresses.

The Speech Accent Archive

Theatre History on the Web


The Theatre Arts department used MLA as their citation guide of choice.

Here is a link to the current (8th edition, 2016) MLA Cheat-Sheet Guide provided by the Proctor Library: MLA Cheat Sheet.

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