Theater and Dance Research Guide

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  • Databases
  • Reference
  • Media
  • Web
  • New Titles
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 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)
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.
  • 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.

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

    Transmission in motion : the technologizing of dance Frost Library; GV1588.7 .T73 2017

    Louisiana Saturday night (Cook, Alex V.) Frost Library; GV1624.L68 C66 2012

    Ghosts of good times : Louisiana dance halls, past and present Frost Library; GV1624.L68 G46 2016 x

    British dance : black routes Frost Library; GV1645 .B75 2017

    Mandela's dancers : oral histories of program participants and organizers (King-Dorset, Rodreguez, author.) Frost Library; GV1785.A1 K58 2016

    Trisha Brown : choreography as visual art (Rosenberg, Susan, 1963-, author.) Frost Library; GV1785.B76 R67 2017

    Bolshoi confidential : secrets of the Russian ballet from the rule of the tsars to today (Morrison, Simon Alexander, 1964-, author.) Frost Library; GV1786.B64 M67 2016

    The future of live (Van Es, Karin, author.) Frost Library; PN1584 .V36 2017

    Women, collective creation, and devised performance Frost Library; PN1590.W64 W64 2016

    Splendide mendax Frost Library; PN171.F6 S66 2016

    Semiotics and pragmatics of stage improvisation (Pietropaolo, Domenico, 1949-, author.) Frost Library; PN2041.S45 P54 2016

    Unbuttoned : the art and artists of theatrical costume design (Pollatsek, E. Shura, author.) Frost Library; PN2067 .P65 2017 x

    Physical theatres : a critical introduction (Murray, Simon David, 1948-, author.) Frost Library; PN2071.M6 M87 2016

    Theatrical reality : space, embodiment and empathy in performance (Edinborough, Campbell, author.) Frost Library; PN2071.P78 E35 2016

    Audience (R)Evolution : dispatches from the field Frost Library; PN2193.A8 A93 2016

    Drop dead : performance in crisis, 1970s New York (Miller, Hillary, author.) Frost Library; PN2277.N5 M43 2016

    Kathy Griffin's celebrity run-ins : (my A-Z index) (Griffin, Kathy, 1960-, author.) Frost Library; PN2287.G6955 A3 2016

    Born a crime : stories from a South African childhood (Noah, Trevor, 1984-, author.) Frost Library; PN2287.N557 A3 2016

    You can't touch my hair : and other things I still have to explain (Robinson, Phoebe, author.) Frost Library; PN2287.R715 A3 2016

    The bassoon king : art, idiocy, and other assorted tales from the band room (Wilson, Rainn, 1966-, author.) Frost Library; PN2287.W4934 A3 2016

    Stage for Action : U.S. social activist theatre in the 1940s (Dail, Chrystyna, author.) Frost Library; PN2297.S73 D35 2016

    Writing the history of the British stage, 1660-1900 (Schoch, Richard W., author.) Frost Library; PN2581 .S36 2016

    The Elizabethan country house entertainment : print, performance and gender (Kolkovich, Elizabeth Zeman, author.) Frost Library; PN2589 .K65 2016

    The theater of experiment : staging natural philosophy in eighteenth-century Britain (Coppola, Al, author.) Frost Library; PN2593 .C77 2016

    Staging France between the World Wars (McCready, Susan, 1970-, author.) Frost Library; PN2635 .M37 2016

    Fritz Bennewitz in India : intercultural theatre with Brecht and Shakespeare (Esleben, Jörg, author.) Frost Library; PN2658.B46 E85 2016

    Stanislavsky and yoga (Cherkasskiĭ, Sergeĭ, author.) Frost Library; PN2728.S78 C4413 2016

    In whose eyes : the memoir of a Vietnamese filmmaker in war and peace (Trần, Văn Thủy (Film director) author.) Frost Library; PN2889.89.T74 A6 2016

    Learning to kneel : noh, modernism, and journeys in teaching (Preston, Carrie J., author.) Frost Library; PN2924.5.N6 P84 2016

    Performing Whitely in the postcolony : Afrikaners in South African theatrical and public life (Lewis, Megan, 1968-, author.) Frost Library; PN2984.2 .L49 2016