Theater and Dance Research Guide

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Try these databases first to find journal articles in this discipline.
  • Arts & Humanities Database
    Full-text publications that focus on art, architecture, design, history, philosophy, music, literature, theatre and cultural studies.
  • World Shakespeare Bibliography Online (1972 to present)
    Includes annotated entries for books, articles, reviews, productions, and more.
  • Performing Arts Periodicals Database (1864 to present)
    Covers a broad spectrum of the arts and entertainment industry - including dance, drama, theater, opera, film, television and more.
  • Academic Search Premier (date coverage varies)
    Full-text articles from over 3,600 journals in the social sciences, arts and humanities, and sciences.
  • Project Muse
    Online database of more than 200 journals from nonprofit publishers. (Alumni access)
  • JSTOR
    Full-text backfiles of over two thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. (Alumni access)
  • Music & Performing Arts
    Cross-searches audio, video, scores, and full-text reference content from all Alexander Street Press music databases.

For more databases, use the subject filter on A-Z Databases

Use these encyclopedias and reference works to get started on a topic.

Print reference:
Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion by Valerie Steele  Frost Reference GT507 .E53 2005
The Dictionary of Fashion History by Valerie Cumming  
Frost Reference GT507 .C86 2010

Find images and streaming audio and video in these collections (also see the Web tab in this guide and the Images Research Guide).
  • OntheBoards.tv
    Videos of full-length performances by contemporary artists working in dance, theater, music, and other performance forms.
  • Dance In Video
    Dance productions and documentaries by the most influential performers and companies of the 20th century
  • ARTstor
    Image database including architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design as well as many other forms of visual culture.
  • Ensemble [An Open Database of the Performing Arts]
    A database of transcriptions and digitized images of early 20th century theater programs collected by the NY Public Library of the Performing Arts.
  • Kanopy Streaming Video
    Kanopy offers a broad selection of thousands of streaming films, documentaries, and theatrical releases covering a wide variety of subject areas, with additional new releases launched monthly. If close-captioning is not included, it can be requested. Interactive transcripts are included. Note that US feature films are not typically part of the Kanopy offerings.
  • Aluka
    Digital resources and data in three major content areas: African Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes, The African Plants Initiative and Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa.
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Digital Archive
    Production photographs, programs and playbills, and other digitized media from the history of this performing arts venue.
  • Classical Performance In Video
    Video resources for the study of classical music, including full operas, dance titles, masterclasses, documentaries, scores and interviews
  • Music & Performing Arts
    Cross-searches audio, video, scores, and full-text reference content from all Alexander Street Press music databases.

Audio and Video sites:

The Chocolate Factory Theater on Vimeo
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive
Jerome Robbins Dance Division Moving Image Archive at NYPL
The Joyce Theater on YouTube
National Theater (London) video
New York Live Arts on Vimeo
OntheBoardsTV
PS122 TV
Walker Art Center Dance
Walker Art Center Theater

Start with these recommended freely available resources in this discipline.

Online Databases and Exhibits:

Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library
Digital video library of performance practices in the Americas. Includes artist profiles,interviews, bibliographies, production information, image galleries, scripts, and additional materials.

Internet Broadway Database
Online database of Broadway production history

Performing Arts Encyclopedia
Database of performing arts resources at the Library of Congress. Includes digitized photographs, manuscripts, correspondence and ephemera.

PBS American Masters Database--Performing Arts
Biographical profiles, video clips of interviews, interactive career timelines, and interviews with artists

Performing Arts in America, 1875-1923
Database of 16,000 objects representing archival materials from the New York Performing Arts Library collections.

Ensemble [An Open Database of the Performing Arts]
A database of transcriptions and digitized images of early 20th century theater programs collected by the NY Public Library of the Performing Arts.

The Theatrical Lighting Database of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Digitized plots, focus charts, and cue sheets from landmark productions in the collections of the New York Public Library

Global Shakespeare (MIT)
The archive is a work in progress and currently includes a catalog of more than 397 productions, 75 video clips, and online videos of over 30 full productions.

Global Performing Arts Database
Digital images, texts, video clips, sound recordings, and complex media objects related to the performing arts around the world

North American Indian Drama
Full text of plays by American Indian, First Nation, and Pacific Islanders playwrights of the 20th century; information about the plays and their production, and biographical data. Also includes issues of the Native playwrights' newsletter. 

Kyoto Costume Institute timeline
Digital images and information about objects in the Kyoto Costume Instituite collections

Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute highlights
Digital images and information about objects in the Met's Costume Instituite collections

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Museum collections
Digital images and information about objects from the FIT Musuem

Victoria & Albert Fashion Collections
Digital images and information about clothing in the Victoria & Albert Musuem

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts houses one of the worlds most extensive combination of circulating, reference, and rare archival collections in its field. These materials are available free of charge, along with a wide range of special programs, including exhibitions, seminars, and performances.

Billy Rose Theatre Division of the NYPL for the Performing Arts
The Billy Rose Theatre Division of The New York Public Library is one of the largest and most comprehensive archives devoted to the theatrical arts.

Theatre on Film and Tape Archive, NYPL Performing Arts
Since 1970, the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT) has preserved live theatrical productions and documented the creative contributions of distinguished artists and legendary figures of the theatre. This is one of the only places you will be able to see taped performances of live theatre productions. Be sure to read the guidelines for using the collection.

Digital Public Library of America
A free, online portal to the digitized collections of various libraries, archives and museums.

 

Audio and Video sites:

The Chocolate Factory Theater on Vimeo
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive
Jerome Robbins Dance Division Moving Image Archive at NYPL
The Joyce Theater on YouTube
New York Live Arts on Vimeo
OntheBoardsTV
PS122 TV
Walker Art Center Dance
Walker Art Center Theater

    The anatomy of dance discourse (Schlapbach, Karin, 1969- author.) Frost Library; GV1588.6 .S44 2018

    Dancing age(ing) : rethinking age(ing) in and through improvisation practice and performance (Martin, Susanne, author.) Frost Library; GV1595 .M37 2017

    Dancing in Blackness : a memoir (Osumare, Halifu, author.) Frost Library; GV1624.7.A34 O78 2018

    This is how we dance now! : performance in the age of Bollywood and reality shows (Chakravorty, Pallabi, author.) Frost Library; GV1693 .C43 2017

    Scripting dance in contemporary India Frost Library; GV1693 .S53 2016

    Contemporary choreography : a critical reader Frost Library; GV1782.5 .C66 2017

    Choreomania : dance and disorder (Gotman, Kélina, author.) Frost Library; GV1782.5 .G68 2018

    Big deal : Bob Fosse and dance in the American musical (Winkler, Kevin, author.) Frost Library; GV1785.F67 W56 2018

    Mary Wigman (Newhall, Mary Anne Santos, author.) Frost Library; GV1785.W5 N49 2018

    The procrastination economy : the big business of downtime (Tussey, Ethan, author.) Frost Library; GV181.3 .T87 2018

    The popular frontier : Buffalo Bill's Wild West and transnational mass culture Frost Library; GV1821.B8 P66 2017

    Populism and performance in the Bolivarian revolution of Venezuela (Marino, Angela (Marino Segura), author.) Frost Library; PN1590.P64 M36 2018

    The concept of the new : framing production and value in contemporary performing arts (Piazza, Livia Andrea, author.) Frost Library; PN1590.P64 P53 2017

    The business of being a writer (Friedman, Jane, author.) Frost Library; PN161 .F744 2018

    Julius Caesar's self-created image and its dramatic afterlife (Dimitrova, Miryana, author.) Frost Library; PN1635 .D56 2018

    Théâtre et libéralisme (Paris, 1830-1848) (Loncle, Stéphanie, 1982- author.) Frost Library; PN2044.F8 L66 2017

    Theaters of the everyday : aesthetic democracy on the American stage (Gallagher-Ross, Jacob, author.) Frost Library; PN2266 .G26 2018

    The theatrical career of Samuel Morgan Smith (Lindfors, Bernth, author.) Frost Library; PN2287.S6128 L56 2018

    Robin (Itzkoff, Dave, author.) Frost Library; PN2287.W473 I89 2018

    Theatre and cartographies of power : repositioning the Latina Frost Library; PN2309 .T476 2018

    British drama, 1533-1642 : a catalogue (Wiggins, Martin, author.) Frost Library; PN2589 .W544 2012

    Moving scenes : the circulation of music and theatre in Europe, 1700-1815 Frost Library; PN2633 .M68 2018

    Site of deportation, site of memory : the Amsterdam Hollandsche Schouwburg and the Holocaust Frost Library; PN2716.A52 H667 2018

    Edo kabuki in transition : from the worlds of the samurai to the vengeful female ghost (Shimazaki, Satoko, author.) Frost Library; PN2924.5.K3 S365 2016

    Six plays from East & West Africa Frost Library; PN2969 .S59 2017