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Theatre History

Research resources for the study of theatre history

Deciding Where to Search


OVERVIEW information: You're just getting to know your topic or exploring a new aspect of your research. Reference materials: Encyclopedias, Broad Historical Monographs

Credo Reference

Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre & Performance

Content is general and often takes a long time to be published -- So you often won't find the freshest info here. Best for introductory exploration of a topic.
AUTHORITATIVE context, critical analysis, original research Scholarly material, like peer-reviewed journal articles


ProQuest Central

Art + Architecture Complete

Content is specific but often takes a long time to be peer-reviewed and published. Again, this doesn't always give the most recent info. Best for finding information that is accepted by scholarly community.
Criticism and commentary on RECENT events (or PRIMARY SOURCE material demonstrating how a performance was critically received) News and current events databases; websites of media outlets (like New York Times or Washington Post)

MasterFILE Premiere

New York Times Online

Content is fresh and may comment on the most recent developments or events on a topic, but some news resources may not be as reliable (because they haven't gone through the long peer-review process). Best for first-hand accounts (and best taken with a grain of salt).

Identifying Keywords

Brainstorm keywords that relate to your topic to use when searching for articles and information. Often a variety of words may be used to describe any single research concept, so as a researcher, it's best to use a variety of keywords to get at the information you're really looking for.

For each concept you're investigating, brainstorm a list of related terms, broader terms, and narrower terms to explore what's available to you through searching. For example:

Keyword Pro Tips

Getting too many results?
Narrow your search by using "AND" between keywords
Example: Bali AND dance

Getting too few results?
Broaden your search by using "OR" between keywords
Example: Bali OR Indonesia OR Southeast Asia

Want to search multiple versions of the same word at once?
Adding an asterisk (*) after a root word will search for that word with multiple endings
Example: perform* searches across the words perform, performance, performer, performative, etc.

Want to search for an exact phrase?
Adding quotations around a phrase will search only for instances where that exact phrase is used.
Example: "Korean theatre"

Browsing the Stacks

Searching the Library Collections

Materials in the physical library stacks are organized loosely by subject. Browsing the shelves of the library in-person can help you discover new work, connections, and research angles. Listed below are general call number ranges for a few relevant subjects at UNCSA Library. 

  • PN1600-3307 - Drama
  • PN1720-1861 - Drama history
  • PN2860-2950 - Asian theatre
  • PN2969 - African theatre
  • PN3035 - Jewish theatre

Note that these are NOT the only places in the library where you will find books on these topics. ​​Another good method for browsing the stacks is to find a title related to your topic using our catalog search below. Then locate your selected title on the shelves and browse titles around it.