For assistance, contact research specialist Bruce Lancaster, x3487.

Name Description Guide
Academic Search Premier

Interdisciplinary database of newspapers, magazines and journals, with full-text for a majority of the articles. Also includes a searchable file of images.

American Film Institute

American Film Institute Catalog

BBC Shakespeare on Video

The complete collection of all 37 BBC productions of Shakespeare’s plays, in streaming video.


International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) resources on films and film studies, many full text. International Index to Film Periodicals is the main database.

Film Index International

Film studies index produced in collaboration with the British Film Institute.

International Encyclopedia of Dance

“With nearly 2,000 articles written by scholars from fifty countries, the Encyclopedia covering theatrical, ritual, dance-drama, folk, traditional, ethnic, and social dance. Cultural and national overviews are accompanied by entries on dance forms, music and costumes, performances, and biographies of dancers and choreographers.”

International Index to Performing Arts

IIPA covers all aspects of the performing arts from 1864 onward; some full text is available.


Full text database of over 300 journals; generally does not contain most recent materials. Most journals lack the last several years, but holdings are very deep, with many journals running back more than a hundred years.

Lexis-Nexis Academic

Selectively indexes, with full text, over 5700 publications in news, business, law and matters of popular interest, mostly from the last ten years.

Literature Resource Center

Author biographies, work overviews, literary criticism and bibliographies.

MLA Bibliography (Modern Language Association)

Indexes scholarly materials in journals and essay collections on literature and language, 1926 to present. Core Database for English and Language Studies.

Nineteenth Century Masterfile

Indexes to magazines and books of the 19th century (1800-1899).

Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance

Encyclopedia covering aspects, genres, and theories of theater and performance: “dance, opera, radio, film, television, and popular performance, including carnivals, circus, and public executions.”

Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

Current, online version of the definitive dictionary of the English language. Traces the evolution of a word over time.

Project Muse

Articles from over 100 scholarly journals, 1993-present; covers literature, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, and gender studies.

Proquest Research Library

A general index to popular, professional and scholarly publications. Many full text articles available.

Reader’s Guide Retrospective

Indexes popular topics in older issues of popular journals. Covers 1890 through 1983.

Theatre in Video

Streaming video of more than 250 definitive performances of the world’s leading plays, plus over 100 film documentaries.

Web Sites

For assistance, contact research specialist Bruce Lancaster, x3487.

  • Brief Guide to Internet Resources in Theatre and Performance Studies

    By Ken McCoy, Ph.D. Provides comprehensive links to World Wide Web resources, listservs, newsgroups, journals, and indexes.


    “The free online guide to modern playwrights and theatre plays which have been written, adapted or translated, into English since the production of Look Back in Anger in 1956,” by Julian Oddy. Searchable by title, playwright, and number of male and female characters.

  • IBDB (Internet Broadway Database)

    “The official database for Broadway theatre information. IBDB provides records of productions from the beginnings of New York theatre until today. Details include pertinent people involved as well as interesting facts and production statistics.”


    Valuable resource for tracking down print copies of a particular play “hidden” in sources often not searchable in catalogs. “Contains . . . citations to plays, many of which are not included in the standard printed play indexes.”

  • Jack Woolcott’s Theatre History on the Web

    Well-organized directory of international theater research sites. Links are available for Area Studies (Classical, Elizabethan, 20th Century), Cultural Sites (Theatre Resources, Organizations), and Centers, Museums, and Libraries.

  • MLA Formatting and Style Guide – The OWL at Purdue

    Purdue’s Online Writing Lab’s guide to the most commonly used citation format in the humanities.

  • Motley Collection of Theatre and Costume Design

    The Motley Collection of Theatre and Costume Design is a valuable source of documentation on the history of theatre, housed in the UIUC Rare Book and Special Collections Library. It is a rare collection of original materials on the theatre comprising over 5000 items from more than 150 productions in England and the United States. These materials include costume and set designs, sketches, notes, photographs, prop lists, storyboards, and swatches of fabric.

  • Playwriting Seminars

    “The Playwriting Seminars” -Significant resource for aspiring playwrights; providing guidance on writing successfully for the regional theater. Well-organized pages oriented toward the practical details which make a play viable in these venues. By Richard Toscan at Va. Commonwealth

  • StageWork

    From The Royal National Theatre of Britain, this web site is a thorough tour of theatrical production. In addition to explorations of the background, sources and themes of recent productions, the site features many performance and interview videos, exploring all aspects of the theatre from marketing and design to directing and rehearsal. Other highlights include a video tour of the National Theatre and a video interview with Sir Ian McKellan with interactive features. This site was commissioned by Culture Online, part of UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award.

  • Writing in College – A Short Guide to College Writing

    From the University of Chicago

  • WWW Virtual Library for Theatre and Drama

    Draws on resources from some 50 countries and covers a wide range of topics related to theater: conferences, archives, newsgroups; journals, images, and studies online–and much more. Updated daily.