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by Adam Siegel – April 7, 2020
The basic principle underlying the organization of any library is to describe the documents it contains so that they may be located. All libraries create sets of records which describe the documents in their collections. Catalogs are sets of records to documents that share a location. Indexes are sets of records to documents that share some other attribute (generally subject matter). Below are the most comprehensive and significant broad article indexing databases for international (but English-language-centric) theatre, dance, and performance scholarship. Also listed are corpora containing collections of contemporary drama and performance.
JSTOR provides Full-Text access to back files of hundreds important scholarly journals in nearly 50 disciplines spanning the arts, humanities, social sciences and the sciences. Current issues are now included for selected titles. Holdings vary by journal. JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization established with the assistance of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Historical coverage of the following U.S Newspapers. The include both full page and individual article images. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue. Years included varies by title.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Arizona Republican (1890 – 1922)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Atlanta Daily World (1931 – 2003)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Chicago Defender (1909 – 1975)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Chicago Tribune (1849 – 1993)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Cleveland Call and Post (1934 – 1991)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Sentinel (1934 – 2005)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times (1881 – 1993)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Amsterdam News (1922 – 1993)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851 – 2013)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Philadelphia Tribune (1912 – 2001)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Pittsburgh Courier (1911 – 2002)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: San Francisco Chronicle (1865 – 1922)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Wall Street Journal (1889 – 1999)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877 – 2000)
This database is the combined archive of two bibliographic indexes, Pascal and Francis. They provide multidisciplinary and multilingual coverage of humanities and social sciences. Source documents include journal articles, books, conference proceedings, dissertations, and reports. It was produced and is now hosted as an open access resource by the Institut de l’Information Scientifique et Technique of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.
North American Theater Online is a comprehensive reference work covering all aspects of the Canadian and American Theater. It includes some 40,000 pages of major reference materials, together with records to approximately 30,000 plays, 57,000 people, 5,400 theatres, 22,000 productions, and 2,500 production companies. Each year we’ll add more than 20,000 new records. The collection also includes approximately 10,500 images, playbills, postcards, scrapbooks and other resources.
North American Women’s Drama includes full text of over 1000 plays, together with detailed information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more. Approximately 20% of the titles have never been previously published. The collection begins with the works of Mercy Otis Warren and Susanna Haswell Rowson in the colonial period and spans the 19th and 20th centuries to the present.
BASE is one of the world’s most voluminous search engines especially for academic open access web resources. BASE is operated by Bielefeld University Library.
An archival research resource containing the essential primary sources for studying the history of the film and entertainment industries, from the era of vaudeville and silent movies through to 2000. The core US and UK trade magazines covering film, music, broadcasting and theater are all included, together with film fan magazines and music press titles. Magazines have been scanned cover-to-cover in high-resolution color, with granular indexing of all articles, covers, ads and reviews.
Inter-Play is an on-line index to plays in collections, anthologies, and periodicals. Separately-published plays are not included, but this is the fastest way to find play titles buried in anthologies and other compilations.
Black Drama contains the full text of hundreds of plays by playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa, the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries. Also contains theatrical production information.
Drawn from several different archives, this online collection includes playbills, scripts and scores, as well as correspondence, meeting minutes and financial records all pertaining to “the inner workings of the arts world and life in Victorian Britain.”
Contains eleven major editions from the First Folio of 1623 to the Cambridge edition of 1863–66, twenty-eight separate contemporary printings of individual plays and poems, selected apocrypha and related works. In addition it contains more than one hundred adaptations, sequels and burlesques from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including the whole of Bell’s Acting Edition of Shakespeare’s Plays (1774).
Play Index searches publication details of over 30,000 plays published after 1949 and written from Antiquity to the present. Search for plays by title, author, subject, style, genre, cast type, and more. This database searches for copies of plays published both separately and in collections/anthologies.
Related: The print version of Play Index is available for the years 1949-2002 in H/SS Reference, 2nd floor Shields Library, Z5781.P53
When complete, Twentieth-Century Drama will contain 2,500 plays from throughout the English-speaking world, covering the history of modern drama. The current release includes over 300 plays from Britain, Ireland and Australia.
A guide to the performing arts collections (both print and digital) and exhibitions at the Library of Congress. Includes digitized items from the collections, with some works by composers Amy Beach, George W. Chadwick, Charles Ives, Edward MacDowell, Gerry Mulligan and several others. Also topical material, such as Civil War Sheet music and American Choral Music.
Current full-text of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times (including the New York Times Magazine and the New York Times Book Review), Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. For historical backfiles, see ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Direct Links to the individual papers:
http://uclibs.org/PID/301866 Chicago Tribune (1985- )
http://uclibs.org/PID/301869 Los Angeles Times (1985- )
http://uclibs.org/PID/301870 New York Times (1980- )
http://uclibs.org/PID/301871 Wall Street Journal (1984- )
http://uclibs.org/PID/301872 Washington Post (1987- )
One of the largest web-based full-text databases for current news, business and legal information, supporting a broad range of interdisciplinary research, Nexis Uni (known until December 2017 as LexisNexis Academic) provides full-text access to nearly 6,000 individual titles. Includes a wide range of U.S. and foreign newspapers, plus transcripts of television and radio news programs. Business resources include business articles, accounting literature, company financial information. Legal resources include state and federal laws and regulations, a full range of case law, and law review articles.
Factiva provides access to global news and business information, including local newspapers, same-day newswires, company reports, and media programs. Provides company information including market data and competitors. Includes full-text of the Wall Street Journal. Coverage in more than 20 languages.
Project Muse provides full text access to hundreds of journals in the arts, humanities, social sciences and mathematics. It is useful for searching interdisciplinary cultural studies topics. Its full-text search engine permits finer-grained searching than any other index for these journals. Coverage varies by journal.