Theater Subject Guide
Go to the CCSF library's main page Find Books using the library's Catalog Find Articles in periodical & reference databases Search the web Library information, frequently asked questions Go to main CCSF web page

Finding Books

Reserve Books

Subject Headings

Reference Sources

Finding Articles

Web Resources

Evaluating Sources

Citing Sources

Additional Help


Theater Subject Guide

Subject guides are designed to help students begin the research process, find reputable sources, and save time.

Searching the Library Catalog for Books & Other Materials

To locate books and other materials in CCSF Libraries, select the Library Catalog from the Library's Homepage. You will notice many ways to search, such as Title, Author, Subject, Subject Keyword, etc.

Examples of Subject
searches include: Acting,
Actors, Actresses, Amateur theater, American drama, Authors and the theater, Classical drama, Copyright--drama, Copyright--performing rights, Costume, Costume design, Drama, Drama--history and criticism, Dramatists, English drama, Expression, Gesture, Monologues, Performing arts, Playbills, Set designers, Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616, Stage, Stage lighting, Stage photography, Theater, Theater and society, Theater architecture, Theaters, Theaters--decorations, Theaters--stage setting and scenery, Vaudeville.

Reserve Materials

Reserve Materials include books, sample tests, class notes, and other items that instructors put at the library for class use. The check out time is shorter than regular circulating books.

To search for a book on reserve in the Library Catalog, select either Reserves by Course or Reserves by Instructor.

When you have located the materials, write down the Call Number and Title and present this to a staff person at the Circulation Desk.


Browsing the Library Collection

Materials in the Library are shelved by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system. Books are arranged on the shelves by subject. Relevant areas in the collection to find materials on theater include:

Drama (works about drama in a literary form) PN 1600-1861
Theater (works about drama as acted on stage) PN 2200-3307
Acting PN 2055-2073
Shakespeare PN 1995.9.W6


Using Key Reference Sources

Reference books provide background information and overviews on a given topic. Some relevant reference books in film include:

Meyer-Dinkgrafe, Daniel, ed. Who’s Who in Contemporary World Theatre.
London: Routledge, 2000.
EF PN 2035 .W485 2000 Rosenberg Reference

Drama Criticism.
Detroit: Gale Research, 1991-
REF PN 1601 .D59 Rosenberg Reference

Critical Survey of Drama.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press, 1986
REF PN 1625 .C74 1986 Rosenberg Reference.

McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama.
New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972.
REF PN 1625 .M3 Rosenberg Reference.

Slide, Anthony. The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville.
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994.
REF PN 1968 .U5 S37 1994 Rosenberg Reference.

Rubin, Don, ed. The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre.
London: Routledge, 1994-

REF PN 1861 .W67 1994 Rosenberg Reference.

Brown, John Russell, ed. The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
REF PN 2111 .O95 1995 Rosenberg Reference.

Banham, Martin, ed. The Cambridge Guide to Theatre.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
REF PN 2035 .C27 1995 Rosenberg Reference.

Hawkins-Dady, Mark, ed. International Dictionary of Theatre.
Chicago: St. James Press, 1996.
REF PN 2035 .I49 1996 Rosenberg Reference, John Adams Reference.

Spevack, Marvin. The Harvard Concordance to Shakespeare.
Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1973.
REF PR 2892 .S69 Rosenberg Reference, Downtown Reference.

Moston, Doug, ed. The First Folio of Shakespeare, 1623.
New York: Applause, 1995.
REF PR 2751 .A15 1995 Rosenberg Reference.

Evans, G. Blakemore, ed. The Riverside Shakespeare.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
REF PR 2754 .E9 1997 Rosenberg Reference.

Campbell, Oscar James, ed. The Reader’s Encyclopedia of Shakespeare.
New York: Crowell, 1966.
REF PR 2892 .C3 Rosenberg Reference


Searching for Articles in Periodical Databases

Periodical databases group together journal, magazine, and newspaper articles by subject. They also usually provide abstracts (brief summaries) and the full text of the articles. Do you need help identifying the differences between scholarly journal v. popular magazine articles?

Note: Most periodical databases are part of the private, passworded Web, so you will need to have a current CCSF ID card with a barcode to access those that CCSF subscribes to. You get the free barcode from the Library either in person or online.

Infotrac Web
Infotrac is a brand name for several databases with coverage from 1980 to the present. Most useful for drama and theater topics are the InfoTrac Expanded Academic ASAP, OneFile. A few examples of magazines and journals included are: American Drama,
American Theatre, Arts Journal: The Daily Digest of Arts, Costume, Comparative Drama, Drama: The Quarterly Theatre Review, Modern Drama, New Theatre Quarterly, Performing Arts Journal, Plays, Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare Newsletter, Shakespeare Studies, Shakespeare Survey, TDR: The Drama Review, Theatre, Theatre History Studies, Theatre Journal, Theatre Notebook, Theatre Research International, Theatre Survey.

Infotrac allows you to limit your results to articles only from scholarly journals by checking the box "Refereed titles."

Proquest Newspapers
Provides full text indexing of the Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street journal, and Washington Post -- Time periods vary.

Ethnic Newswatch
Comprised of newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press in America, this unique body of materials covers a wide range of current topics and countless other social, political and educational subjects. More than 200 publications covering 1995 to the present are represented, and searchable in both English and Spanish.

SFPL - Electronic Resources, Magazines, and Newspapers
San Francisco Public Library subscribes to many periodical and reference databases. You must have a San Francisco Public Library card number to access them, so even after you complete your City College courses, you can still access online periodical and reference databases using SFPL.


Finding Web Resources

Below are some examples of academic/scholarly web sites for drama and theater studies. If you use a search engine, such as Google, remember to evaluate the quality of the results.

Internet Resources in Theatre and Performance Studies
Provides research tools, listing of theater or performance studies resources. Edited by Ken McCoy, associate professor of Communication Studies and Theater Arts at Stetson University.

Drama Library: Homepages Developed
A collection of Web pages useful for those doing research in theater. Created by Liz Fugate, Librarian at the Drama Library, University of Washington Libraries.

Artslynx International Theatre Resources
A collection of Web pages ranging from acting to world theatre. Edited by Richard Finkelstein, professor of theatre design.

Performing Arts Links
A collection of theater and performing arts Web sites with an international focus. Edited by Maria Teresa Iovinelli, Burcardo Library and Theatre Collection in Rome.

Theatre and Drama / WWW Virtual Library
Provides links to international online articles, journals, museums, organizations and theatre companies, etc. Developed by CTI Center for Textual Studies, Oxford.

Visual and Performing Arts
A searchable database of scholarly resources on the Internet related to the visual and performing arts. Developed by Infomine.

Voice of the Shuttle: Drama, Theater, & Performance Art Studies
A collection of selected links to Web resources related to theatre and drama. Created by University of California, Santa Barbara, English Department.

ELAC TheatrePedia: Internet Theatre Library
Provides information about the history, aesthetics, and technique of theatre. Developed by the East Los Angeles College.

English Language and Literature Guide
Prepared by Mortensen Library staff, this site includes a broad array of useful links on theater.
Links to information about academic programs, technical resources, shows and performances, theatres, groups, and other general information.

The Internet Classics Archive
A searchable collection of over 400 classical Greek and Latin texts (in English translation) with user-provided commentary and trivia sections.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Complete works of William Shakespeare, including Internet resources, a discussion area, quotations, and a glossary.
Interactive site to increase the popular understanding and enjoyment of Shakespeare.

Shakespeare Resources on the Internet
The Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library's holdings include a variety of Shakespeare resources that range from early Quartos, the complete 1623 First Folio, and early playhouse promptbooks, to more modern editions and to many bibliographical articles that discuss Shakespeare's works.

Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet
Provides links to online scholarly resources as well as new Shakespeare materials, such as a genealogy, a time line, information about the Shakespeare canon, etc.


Need More Assistance?

Librarians welcome your questions and can help you with your research. For additional help you may go to the Reference Desk at any of the 5 CCSF campus libraries or telephone:
  • Rosenberg Library: 415-452-5543
  • Alice Statler Library: 415-239-3460
  • John Adams Library: 415-561-1946
  • Southeast Campus Library: 415-550-4353
  • Downtown Campus library: 415-267-6513

Electronic Reference Service to CCSF students, faculty, staff and registered community users. Use this service when you are NOT in a CCSF library.

Library and Web Research Workshops
FIfty minute workshops are given throughout the semester on effective methods in searching for books, articles and information on the Internet.

Evaluating and Citing Information Sources
Several useful sources for evaluating the quality of web pages, how to prepare citations for a "Bibliography" or "Works Cited" list, and how to avoid plagiarism.

Purdue's Online Writing Lab
One of the most thorough and easy to navigate writing labs avaialble!

A+ Research and Writing
Hosted by the Internet Public Library.

Writing Process @ CSU
Colorado State University developed these guides which "focus on a range of composing processes as well as issues related to the situations in which writers find themselves."

Send comments or suggestions to:

Sirous Monajami
Subject Selector
(415) 452-5469

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Last updated August 29, 2003