Research Guide: History of the Theatre

| Citing Sources | Reference Books | CONSULS Catalog | Online Databases | Locating Periodicals | Interlibrary Loan | Questions? |

Citing Sources to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a form of cheating which may lower the grade you receive on your writing assignment. You must cite the source of any direct quotation and any facts or ideas you obtained from a source other than yourself. For more information about how to avoid plagiarism, please see this brief video from Bainbridge College in YouTube: Plagiarism: How to Avoid It (

For tips on citation format, please see the MLA Formatting and Style Guide courtesy of the OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab (

Reference Books for Background Information

Reference books are shelved by Library of Congress call number on the fourth and fifth floors of the Haas Library. To learn about LC call numbers, please watch the brief video Reading a Call Number in YouTube (courtesy of the Douglas College Library). Reference books may not be checked out, but free scanners are available for student use on the first floor (please use your flash drive).

Background on Drama & Theater

Cambridge Guide to TheatreRef PN 2035.C27 1995
Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama. 2 volumes.Ref PN 1861.C65 2007
Comedy: A Geographical and Historical Guide. 2 volumes.Ref PN 6147.C565 2005
The Drama DictionaryRef PN 1625.H64 1988
International Dictionary of Theatre. 3 volumes.Ref PN 2035.I49 1992
International Dictionary of Theatre LanguageRef PN 2035.I5 1985
McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama. 4 volumes.Ref PN 1625.M3 1972
The Oxford Companion to the Theatre. Fourth edition.Ref PN 2035.H3 1983
The Oxford Dictionary of PlaysRef PN 1625.P38 2005
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre & Performance. 2 volumes.Ref PN 2035.O94 2003

Classical Theatre

Ancient Writers: Greece and RomeRef PA 3002.A5 1982
Encyclopedia of Ancient GreeceRef DF 16.E52 2006
The Encyclopedia of Greek Tragedy. 3 volumes.Ref PA 3133.E53 2014
Encyclopedia of the Ancient Greek World. Revised edition.Ref DF 16.S23 2005
Facts on File Companion to Classical DramaRef PA 3024.T48 2005
A Handbook of Classical DramaRef PA 3024.H3 1944
Handbook to Life in Ancient GreeceRef DF 77.A35 1997
The Oxford Dictionary of the Classical WorldRef DE 5.O94 2005
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. 7 volumes.Ref DE 5.O95 2010

Specific National Traditions

Cambridge Guide to American TheatreRef PN 2221.C37 2007
Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre. 2 volumes.Ref PN 2860.E53 2007
The Facts on File Companion to American DramaRef PS 330.F33 2004
Historical Dictionary of African American TheaterRef PN 2270.A35.H53 2009
Historical Dictionary of American Theater ModernismRef PN 2266.3.F57 2008
Historical Dictionary of Chinese TheaterRef PN 2871.Y46 2008
Historical Dictionary of French TheaterRef PN 2637.F67 2010
Historical Dictionary of German TheaterRef PN 2657.G73 2006
Historical Dictionary of Japanese Traditional TheatreRef PN 2921.L45 2006
Historical Dictionary of Russian TheaterRef PN 2721.S46 2007
The Oxford Companion to American Theatre. Third edition.Ref PN 2220.B6 2004

Drama Criticism

Drama Criticism (DC)In Literature Criticism Online (see databases below)
Critical Survey of Drama. Second Revised Edition. 8 volumes.Ref PN 1625.C68 2003
Black Literature Criticism (BLC)Ref PS 153.N5.B556 1992
New York Times - Current (for current performance reviews)Under Databases A-Z on library homepage
New York Times - Historical (for historical performance reviews)Under Databases A-Z on library homepage

Specific Playwrights

Critical Companion to Arthur MillerRef PS 3525.I5156.Z5114 2007
Critical Companion to Eugene O'Neill. 2 volumes.Ref PS 2529.N5.Z627266
Critical Companion to Tennessee WilliamsRef PS 3545.I5365.Z675 2005
The Oscar Wilde EncyclopediaRef PR 5823.B34 1998
The Tennessee Williams EncyclopediaRef PS 3545.I5365.Z459 2004


Shakespearean Criticism (SC)In Literature Criticism Online (see databases below)
Essential Shakespeare: An Annotated Bibliography of Major Modern StudiesRef PR 2894.C53 1993
New Moulton's Library of Literary Criticism (Vol. 2 covers Shakespeare)Ref PR 85.N39 1985
Shakespeare Index: An Annotated Bibliography of Critical Articles: 1959-1983Ref PR 2894.S25 1992
All Things Shakespeare: An Encyclopedia of Shakespeare's World. 2 volumes.Ref PR 2892.O56 2002
A Companion to Shakespeare's Works. 4 volumes.Ref PR 2976.C572 2003
Critical Companion to Shakespeare. 2 volumes.Ref PR 2892.B69 2005
Facts on File Companion to Shakespeare. 5 volumes.Ref PR 2892.B26 2012
The Oxford Companion to ShakespeareRef PR 2892.O94 2001
Shakespeare A-ZRef PR 2892.B69 1990
Shakespeare the PlaywrightRef PR 2976.C27 1991
Shakespeare's World and Work. 3 volumes.Ref PR 2892.S56 2001

Musical Theatre

New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2nd edition. 29 volumes.
Also available online as Oxford Music Online.
Ref ML100.N48 2001
American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle. Fourth edition.Ref ML 1711.B67 2010
The American Musical Theatre Song EncyclopediaRef ML 102.M88.H59 1995
American Song: The Complete Musical Theatre Companion. 2 volumes.Ref ML 128.M78.B6 1996
Broadway: An Encyclopedia of Theater and American Culture. 2 volumes.Ref PN 2277.N5.B62 2010
Broadway Musicals, 1943-2004Ref ML 102.M88.S74 2006
Broadway Musicals: Show by Show. 6th edition.Ref ML 1711.G735 2008
A Chronology of American Musical Theater. 3 volumes.Ref ML 1711.8.N3.N67 2002
Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre. 2 volumes.Ref ML 102.M88.G3 1994
Historical Dictionary of the Broadway MusicalRef ML 102.M88.E94 2008
Off-Broadway Musicals, 1910-2007Ref ML 1711.8.N3.D54 2010
The Oxford Companion to the American MusicalRef ML 102.M88.H593 2008
The Rodgers and Hammerstein EncyclopediaRef ML 102.M88.H595 2007

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CONSULS Online Catalog for Books and Media

CONSULS catalog workstations are concentrated on the first floor of the Haas Library, but there are some workstations on each of the other floors. You may logon to CONSULS via the WCSU Libraries Homepage by selecting "Books & Media" at or directly at

Please Note: CONSULS ignores upper and lower case, and you may omit punctuation, except the hyphen which must be replaced by a space.


Select Author at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the writer's name last-name-first. Correct spelling is important.

Example: sophocles (press ENTER or RETURN)
Example: sheridan richard b (ENTER)
Example: sondheim stephen (ENTER)
Example: stanislavsky konstantin (ENTER)

To limit search results to items owned by WCSU, click on Limit/Sort and then select WCSU under "WHERE Item is Located."


Select Subject at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the writer's name last-name-first. Correct spelling is important. To limit results to items owned by WCSU, use the Limit/Sort option.

Example: bernhardt sarah (press ENTER or RETURN)
Or just: barnhardt s (ENTER)

Example: marlowe christopher (press ENTER)
Or just: marlowe ch (ENTER)

CONSULS will retrieve a list of Library of Congress subject headings that begin with the words you typed:

Marlowe Christopher 1564-1593 (main heading is subdivided)
Marlowe Christopher 1564-1593--Authorship
Marlowe Christopher 1564-1593--Criticism and interpretation
Marlowe Christopher 1564-1593--Influence
Marlowe Christopher 1564-1593--Stage history

PLEASE NOTE: Personal name headings may also be subdivided by the titles of individual works, for example:

Marlowe Christopher 1564-1593--Doctor Faustus


Select Title at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type as much of the title as you remember in correct word order. In CONSULS, you may omit "a," "an," or "the" at the beginning of a title.

Example: bourgeois gentilhomme (press ENTER)
Example: cambridge companion to theatre history (ENTER)
Example: paul scofield an actor for all seasons (ENTER)

PLEASE NOTE: If your TITLE search does not retrieve an entry for a separately published edition of the work, select Words in the toolbar to re-execute the search as a keywords search, then scan the CONTENTS field of each entry for the title of the work you need.


Select Subject at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the Library of Congress subject heading which best describes your topic. Correct spelling and word order are important. The complete list of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is published in a set of big red books available in the Reference Area on the first floor of the Haas Library.

Example: Theater--Great Britain--History--Early works to 1800 (press ENTER or RETURN)
Or just: theater great britain history (ENTER)


Select Keyword(s) at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the words which best describe your topic, in any order.

Example: shakespeare* and acting and (convention* or technique*) (ENTER)
Narrower: shakespeare* and acting and female role* (ENTER)
Broader: elizabethan and (theat* or stage or drama*) and acting (ENTER)

Example: (theat* or stage or plays) and censorship and (britain or london) (ENTER)
Narrower: (theat* or stage) and censor* and (britain or london) and 19th century (ENTER)
Broader: (theat* or stage or drama*) and (censor* or prohibit* or expurgat*) (ENTER)

Example: stanislavsky and (acting or actor* or actress*) (ENTER)
Narrower: stanislavsky and (method* or prepar*) and (acting or actor* or actress*) (ENTER)

Example: japan* and (theat* or stage or drama*) and history (press ENTER)
Narrower: japan* and (kabuki or noh) and (history or development) (ENTER)

Use the * (asterisk) as a truncation symbol to retrieve variant forms of a word root. Use the Boolean OR to expand your search by including synonyms and related terms. When using two different Boolean commands in the same search statement ("and" and "or" in the preceding examples) you must include parentheses (nesting) to indicate the command which is to be performed first.


If the item you need is owned by one of the other CSU Libraries (CCSU, SCSU, or ECSU) but not by WCSU, or if the copy at WCSU is checked out, you may request the item electronically via INTER-CAMPUS LOAN by clicking the Request option at the full record display in CONSULS. Then select "WCSU" and type your University network username and password. Be sure to specify a pickup location (Haas or Young Library) before initiating your request. If you need assistance with Inter-Campus Loan, please phone the Circulation Desk at (203) 837-9100.

There is a limit of ten (10) Inter-Campus Loan requests per person. Videos are available via Inter-Campus Loan. Please allow 3-4 working days for delivery to the Haas Circulation Desk. Items borrowed via Inter-Campus Loan may be renewed for an additional borrowing period if no one has placed a HOLD on the item.

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Online Databases for Finding Periodical Articles

Coverage: Issue number one to within 5-6 years of present
Location: Under Articles & Databases: Most Popular on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Full-text of over 500 core scholarly journals in more than 25 disciplines, including language and literature (complete backfiles).
Academic Search Premier in EBSCOhost
Coverage: 1990 - present (earlier for many publications)
Location: Under Articles & Databases: Most Popular at the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Indexes approximately 8,000 newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals in most fields, including theater and drama, with over 4,500 available in full-text.
PLEASE NOTE; the journal Theatre History Studies is available in full-text in this database (2003-present).
Literature Criticism Online from Gale Research
Coverage: Includes the series Drama Criticism (DC), Poetry Criticism (PC), Short Story Criticism (SSC), Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC), Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (TCLC), and Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism (NCLC).
Location: Under Articles & Databases: A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Excerpts and in some cases the full-text of articles from scholarly journals and essays published in English-language books.
Naxos Music Library
Coverage: More than 600 recording labels
Location: Under Articles & Databases A-Z at the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Classical music audiofiles, including musical theatre recordings. Keywords searchable. CD-quality sound; files are not downloadable.
Films on Demand
Coverage: High-quality streaming video and multimedia content for academic, vocational, and life-skills users.
Location: Select Films on Demand under Articles & Databases: A-Z at the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Educational videos released by the Film Media Group under the brand names Films for the Humanities and Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.

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Locating Periodicals in the Haas Library

To find out if WCSU subscribes to a specific periodical in print or online:

1. Select Journal Title under "Other Searches" at the CONSULS main menu, then type the name of the periodical (example: modern drama) and press ENTER. If a title list appears on the screen, select the desired title, then look inside the box to find WCSU holdings. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to see if WCSU owns backfiles on microfilm or microfiche.

2. To find out if a given periodical is available in full-text in one or more of WCSU's online databases, use the Journal Finder available under Articles & Databases on the WCSU Libraries Homepage (

How to Use Interlibrary Loan

If the CSU Libraries do not own the book you need, or if WCSU does not subscribe to the periodical you need, you may request delivery of the item via Interlibrary Loan using the online ILLiad system available at:

There is a limit of 5 Interlibrary Loan requests per person per day. Videos are not available via Interlibrary Loan. Please allow 2-3 days for journal ariticles to be forwarded in digital format to your WestConn email account and at least ten working days for delivery of books. You will be notified as soon as the material arrives. Under most circumstances, Interlibrary Loan is a free service, but faster document delivery service is available for a reasonable fee. Please phone the Interlibrary Loan Desk at (203) 837-9114 for more information.

Do You Have a Question?

Reference service is available on request at the Circulation Desk on the first floor of the Haas Library, or you may contact Joan Reitz, Instruction Librarian, at 837-8308 or My office is located in Room 402 on the fourth floor of the Haas Library (near the glass elevator).

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THR 279 Visuals

Please send your comments to Joan Reitz, Haas Instruction Librarian, Western Connecticut State University
Last updated on September 14, 2015