Drama Research Guide: Dramaturgy

Library Catalogs
Basic Reference
Literature Resource Center

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Article Databases
Plays Online
Play Indexes
Media Resources
Special Collections


Library Catalogs

Cameo (Carnegie Mellon University Libraries catalog)

The Catalog: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has the most comprehensive public music collection in the city.

Pittcat (The University of Pittsburgh library catalog) will be useful to Dramaturgs!

WorldCat to verify the existence of materials in the holdings of libraries natiowide and internationally for resources CMU Libraries don't have, and to get citation information for using Interlibrary Loan.


Basic Reference


Chemers, Michael M. Ghost Light : An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy.
Southern Illinois University Press, 2010.

HUNT FA-REF PN2053 .C44X 2010


Cody, Gabrielle H. and evert Sprinchorn. The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.
HUNT FA-REF PN1861 . C65 2007 (2 volumes)
Critical essays on individuals, plays, and types of drama from 1860 to present
; cites first production of plays; emphasis placed on cultural context of dramatic works and their authors; appendices include synoptic outline of contents, directory of contributors. Bibliographies. Extensive index.

Hawkins-Dady, Mark, ed. Leanda Shrimpton, picture editor. International Dictionary of Theatre.Chicago and London: St. James Press, 1992. 3 volumes
HUNT FA-REF PN2035 .I49 1992
Plays Volume 1
Detailed information about play publication and production. Includes date of first production, translations and bibliography;critical summary of each play.
Playwrights Volume 2
Detailed information on life and work; critical summary; bibliography

Actors, Directors and Designers
Volume 3
Detailed information on life and work, critical summary; bibiliography.

New York Theatre Critics' Reviews
HUNT FA-REF PN2000 .N76, 1940-1995 (Look for the red binders directly behing the Arts Reference Desk.)
Facsimiles of newspaper reviews. Sometimes provides detailed information about the production.

Magill, Frank N. Critical Survey of Drama : English Language Series. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Salem Press, 1985.
REF-1 PR623 .C75 1985 6 vols.
Biographical summaries; critical essays examine representative plays and identify themes and characteristics employed by English language dramatists.

Magill, Frank N. Critical Survey of Drama : Foreign Language Series. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Salem Press, 1986.
REF-1 PN1625 .C74 1986, 6 vols. with 1987 supplement
Biographical summaries; critical essays examine representative plays and identify themes and characteristics employed by more than 170 non-English speaking dramatists.


MLA International Bibliography database
Venerated reference database for finding citations to books, book chapters, periodical articles, and dissertations in all languages for all periods from the Middle Ages to present.

Carpenter, Charles A. Modern Drama: Scholarship and Criticism, 1981-1990: An International Bibliography. Toronto, Buffalo and London: Modern Drama and University of Toronto Press, 1997.
FA-REF-4Z5781 .C37 1997


Literature Resource Center
Database for research on literary topics, authors and their works in all genres, disciplines, time periods and regions worldwide.
You can also search by content type: biography, multimedia, news, literary criticism, primary sources and literary work, and topics


Online Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Credo Reference
Online collection of encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri and books of quotations, with a range of subject-specific titles covering everything from art to accountancy, medicine, literature and law. Each book is also listed individually in Cameo, the library catalog.
Performance titles include Cambridge Guide to Theatre, Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre, Shakespeare's Theatre: A Dictionary of His Stage Context, Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers, Martial Arts of the World as well as many literature reference titles.
Credo Reference also links to the Bridgeman Art Library of images.

Oxford Reference Online (ORO)
100 language and subject dictionaries and reference works into a single cross-searchable resource. Includes general reference, arts, language, science and medicine, humanities and social sciences, and business and professional sources. Titles include A Dictionary of Shakespeare, Oxford Companion to Shakespeare, Oxford Companion to American Theatre, International Enyclopedia of Dance, Oxford Dictionary of Dance, Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, Concise Oxford Companion to Theatre.


Article Databases

Articles and Databases across discplines

Arts Databases

Drama Databases

International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance
Database citing journal articles and books with selected access to full-text content relating to all aspects of performance and the theatre; replaces the scholarly print edition of the International Bibliography of Theatre.

International Index to the Performing Arts
Database provides citations to international scholarly and poplular articles on the performing arts, except music. It also cites performing arts articles and obituaries appearing in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Most records include an abstract in addition to the citation.
The retrospective database draws citations from 46 periodicals and dates back to 1864.


Humanities and Social Sciences

19th Century U.S. Newspapers
Search and display pages from 500 U. S. newspapers from the 19th century.

17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers
Search and display the text of 1,000 pamphlets, proclamations, newsbooks and newspapers. Most of the newspapers are from England, Ireland, and Scotland, with a handful from the British colonies in the Americas and Asia.

19th Century British Library Newspapers
Search and display the full text of 48 (forty-eight) 19th century newspapers from England, Scotland, and Ireland.

19th Century Masterfile (NCM)
Voluminous resource for citing historical research prior to 1925 in periodicals, newspapers, books, U.S. Congressional Record, US and UK government documents and U.S. patents.

America History and Life
Citations and some abstracts to journal articles, dissertations, and book and media reviews on United States and Canadian history from prehistory to the present; HA contains citations and some abstracts of journal articles, books, and dissertations on world history from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada).

Pages of Harper's Weekly from 1857-1912 as scanned images. Users can browse by date or literary genre. Searches can be done by occupation or role in society, by searching any combination of four indexes: subject; illustrations; literature and publishing; advertising, or by full text.

MLA International Bibliography online
Venerated reference tool for finding citations to books, book chapters, periodical articles, and dissertations in all languages for all periods from the Middle Ages to present.

Cross-Disciplinary Article Databases

Academic OneFile Articles on all subjects

ArticleFirst Scholarly citations in all disciplines

General OneFile Articles on all subjects

LexisNexis Academic News, law & business information

ProQuest U.S. newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, dissertations and reports


E-Journals online across disciplines

If the library catalog, Cameo, does not contain the journals online or in print that you need, double check this list for possible online access.


Plays Online

Alexander Street Press full-text collections
also containing information about plays, playwrights and productions with selected visual materials

Twentieth Century North American Drama is a growing full-text database, currently containing 850 plays including the complete works of major playwrights as well as plays by emerging playwrights. Searchable by keyword, author, play title, characters, scenes, subjects, years, productions, theaters, and companies. Additional information on playwrights, theaters, companies, productions and performances is included along with a selection of playbills, posters and other ephemera.

Asian American Drama
Contains the full-text of 250 plays by Asian American playwrights. It is searchable by author, play title, characters, scenes, subjects, years, productions, theatres, and companies. The database also contains playwright biographies, details on productions, theatres and theatrical companies, as well as production photographs, selected playbills and other information related to the plays.

Black Drama
Contains the full-text of 1200 plays by black playwrights. It is searchable by author, play title, characters, scenes, subjects, years, productions, theatres, and companies, including related resource and biographical information.

North American Women's Drama
over 1,500 full-text plays by women from colonial times to the present. Allows in-depth browsing and searching; includes detailed information on related productions, theaters, production companies and and more. Plays were selected by the Alexander Street Press editorial board using recognized play bibliographies and in consultation with other scholars and playwrights.

Early English Books Online
A searchable full text database of over 95,000 titles published between 1475 and 1700. Over 125,000 titles anticipated (new titles are added each year). Searchable by author, title, subject & imprint information. Documents can be viewed online and or downloaded in PDF format (Adobe).

Eighteenth Century Collections Online
Scanned images from a diverse collection of 18th century printed material including books, directories, Bibles, sheet music, advertisements, sermons; collections on the French Revolution and works by woman writers; editions of the works of Shakespeare. Fields covered include history, literature, religion, law, fine arts, science and more.



Play Indexes

Play Index
Cites plays from 1949 to the present published individually or in collections.
Includes one-act plays, pageants, plays in verse, radio and television plays and classic drama. Search for plays by title, author, subject, style, genre, cast type and more. Includes very brief plot summaries, musical, cast and scenery requirements.

Lists of Plays Published in Magazines (pre-1980)

Chicorel Theater Index to Plays in Anthologies, Periodicals, Discs, and Tapes . New York: Chicorel Library Publishing Co., 1970-.
HUNT FA-REF-4 PN1655 .C43X, VOL.1-3 (4th floor Hunt Library)
Contains over 30,000 entries. Broad coverage of years and languages with playwright, play title, and anthology title in one alphabetical list in each volume.

The Drama Scholars' Index to Plays and Film Scripts: A Guide to Plays and Film Scripts in Selected Anthologies, Series, and Periodicals . Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1974.
HUNT REF-1 Z5781 .S17, 3 Vols. (1st. floor Hunt Library)
Indexes foreign langauge scripts, translations, and many 18th- and 19th- century anthologies and collections as well as modern film scripts. Arranged by playwright or title.

Keller, Dean H. Index to Plays in Periodicals. Rev. and expanded ed. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1979.
HUNT FA-REF-4 Z5781 .K43 1979 (4th Floor Hunt Library)
Indexes thousands of plays in hundreds of periodicals, by playwright or title.

Patterson, Charlotte A. Plays in Periodicals: An Index to English Language Scripts in Twentieth Century Journals. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1970.
HUNT BSMT Z5781 .P3 (Basement, Hunt Library)
Lists some 4,000 plays in 97 English language journals published between 1900 and 1968. Arranged by playwright or title.


Media Resources

Berg Fashion Library
A searchable database which includes the the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion with the advantage of regular updates. Search for articles and images examined with an emphasis on multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives regarding all aspects of dress and fashion globally from pre-history to the present.

IBDB Internet Broadway Database
This is a good place to start in researcing productions. Best practice is to check information with scholarly resources.

New York Theatre, 1919-1961 [microform]
26,000 photographs from the Vandamm Collection
in The New York Public Library, Library and Museum of the Performing Arts. Teaneck, N.Y. : Somerset House ; Cambridge [England] : Chadwyck-Healey, 1980.MFICHE-3 792 N532 (Hunt Library, 3rd floor)
Includes captioned photographs of 900 stage productions.

Streaming Video

Theatre in Video
Dance in Video
Opera in Video

Visual Resources Collection (Arts Library at Carnegie Mellon)
Link to this guide to access well-researched high resolution subscription and open-web image resources. Of particular note is ArtStor a subscription image database with a growing collection of historical and contemporary images from museum collections in the U.S. Note that the article database JSTOR noted above links to ArtStor images.

Film and Video Collections
The best way to search Cameo, the library catalog, for videos is to do an Advanced Search and choose VIDEO-BSMT for location in the pull down menu.

VADS: The Online Resource for Visual Arts
Online "visual art collections comprising over 100,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in learning, teaching and research in the UK." Includes the Learning Index, a series of teaching resources based in the collection by subject specialists and lecturers.
Especially useful for theatre are the Central Saint Martins Museum & Study Collection which includes the theatre design collection, the Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles:
Material Collection
and Slide Collection, John Johnson Collection of Trades and Professions, London College of Fashion - College Archive, Oxford Portraits (various media/leaders in all professions in the UK); Textiles Collection: University for the Creative Arts at Farnham, with a number of other collections focusing on design, history, posters, artists, architecture and more.

Special Collections

Curtis Theatre Collections ( University of Pittsburgh )

Contain some materials on drama and theater:

Carnegie Mellon Libraries: Special Collections

Carnegie Mellon University Archives


Mo Dawley, Art and Drama Librarian
August 2015

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