Research Guide to Theatre Arts

| 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 Ruth 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 of the Library (please use your flash drive).

General Reference Sources

The Dictionary of Art. 34 volumes.Online in Oxford Art Online
Dictionary of the History of Ideas. 4 volumes. Ref CB 5.D52
The Encyclopedia of Romanticism: Culture in Britain, 1780s-1830sRef DA 529.E53 1992
Encyclopedia of the Renaissance. 6 volumes.Ref CB 361.E52 1999
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 29 volumes.Online in Oxford Music Online


The Cambridge Guide to TheatreRef PN 2035.C27 1995
The Cambridge Guide to American TheatreRef PN 2221.C37 2007
Dramatists Sourcebook. Biennial (1989-present)Ref PN 2289.D73
The Facts on File Dictionary of the TheatreRef PN 2035.F27 1988
International Dictionary of Theatre. 3 volumes.Ref PN 2035.I49 1992
The International Dictionary of Theatre
Vol. 1: Plays
Vol. 2: Playwrights
Vol. 3: Actors, Directors and Designers
Ref PN 2035.I49 1992
An International Dictionary of Theatre LanguageRef PN 2035.I5 1985
The Oxford Companion to American TheatreRef PN 2220.B6 2004
The Oxford Companion to the Theatre. Fourth edition.Ref PN 2035.H3 1983
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre & Performance. 2 volumes.Ref PN 2035.O94 2003
Theatre Backstage from A to Z. Third edition.Ref PN 2091.M3.L68 1989
Theatre Language: A Dictionary...Ref PN 2035.B6 1961
Theatre World. Annual (1976-2013).Ref PN 2277.N5.A17


Critical Survey of Drama. Revised edition. 8 volumes.Ref PN 1625.C68 2003
Drama CriticismIncluded in Literature Criticism Online
European Drama Criticism, 1900-1975Ref Z 5781.P2 1977
The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama. 2 volumes.Ref PN 1861.C65 2007
The Drama DictionaryRef PN 1625.H64 1988
McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama. 4 volumes.Ref PN 1625.M3 1972
The Oxford Dictionary of PlaysRef PN 1625.P38 2005
Play Index (1949-1992)Ref Z 5781.P53

Theatre History

American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1869-1914 (Bordman)Ref PN 2256.B6 1994
American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1914-1930 (Bordman)Ref PN 2266.3.B67 1995
American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1930-1969 (Bordman)Ref PN 2266.B64 1996
American Theatre Companies, 1749-1887 (Durham)Ref PN 2237.A43 1986
American Theatre Companies, 1888-1930 (Durham)Ref PN 2256.A44 1987
American Theatre Companies, 1931-1986 (Durham)Ref PN 2266.A54 1989
Annals of the New York Stage, 1798-1894. 15 volumes.Ref PN 2277.N5.O4 1970
The Baroque TheatreRef PN 2174.B313
Broadway: An Encyclopedia of Theater and American Culture. 2 volumes.Ref PN 2277.N5.B62 2010
The Cambridge History of British Theatre. 3 volumes.Ref PN 2581.C36 2004
A Companion to the Medieval TheatreRef PN 2152.C66 1989
The Elizabethan Stage. 4 volumes.Ref PN 2589.C4
Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre. 2 volumes.Ref PN 2860.E53 2007
The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage, 1920-1930. 2 volumes.Ref PN 2277.N5.L36 1985
The Encyclopedia of VaudevilleRef PN 1968.U5.S37 1994
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 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 Jacobean and Caroline Stage. 7 volumes.Ref PN 2592.B4 1966
The London Stage. 5 volumes + index.Ref PN 2592.L6
The Mediaeval Stage. Volume 1 (Chambers).Ref PN 2152.C4
New Kabuki EncyclopediaRef PN 2924.5.K3.L44 1996
Some Account of the English Stage: from the Restoration in 1660 to 1830. 10 volumes.Ref PN 2581.G4

Musical Theatre

American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle. Third edition.Ref ML 1711.B67 2001
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: 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 American OperaRef ML 102.O6.W53 2006
Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre. 2 volumes.Ref ML 102.M88.G3 1994
Historical Dictionary of the Broadway MusicalRef ML 102.M88.E94 2008
International Encyclopedia of Dance. 6 volumes.Ref GV 1585.I586 1998
New Complete Book of the American Musical TheaterRef ML 1711.E9 1970
New Grove Dictionary of Opera. 4 volumes.Online in Oxford Music Online
New Kabuki EncyclopediaRef PN 2924.5.K3.L44 1996
The Oxford Companion to the American MusicalRef ML 102.M88.H593 2008
The Rodgers and Hammerstein EncyclopediaRef ML 102.M88.H595 2007

Costume & Stagecraft

20,000 Years of Fashion: The History of Costume and Personal AdornmentRef GT 510.B6713
The Chronicle of World FashionRef GT 511.P42 1991
The Complete History of Costume and Fashion: From Ancient Egypt to the Present DayRef GT 375.C67 2001
Costume Design on Broadway: Designers and Their Credits, 1915-1985Ref PN 2067.O94 1987
The Dictionary of Antiques and the Decorative ArtsRef NK 30.B57 1967
A Dictionary of Costume and Fashion: Historic and ModernRef GT 507.P49 1999
Early American Dress: The Colonial and Revolutionary PeriodsRef GT 605.H64
Encyclopedia of American Indian CostumeRef E 98.C8.P37 1994
Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion. 3 volumes.Ref GT 507.E53 2005
The Encyclopedia of World CostumeRef GT 507.Y37 1982
Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. 10 volumes.Ref GT 507.E54 2010
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing through History. 3 volumes.Ref GT 507.G74 2008
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Homes through American History. 4 volumes.Ref NA 7205.G745 2008
The Historical Encyclopedia of CostumesRef GT 510.R3313 1988
History of Costume: From the Ancient Egyptians to the Twentieth CenturyRef GT 510.P35
An Illustrated Dictionary of Historic CostumeRef GT 510.P48 2003
Kabuki CostumeRef GT 1745.J3.S5
Men's Fashion: The Complete SourcebookRef GT 1710.P43 1996
The Mode in CostumeRef GT 510.W55 1958
One World of FashionRef GT 510.C7
The Pictorial Encyclopedia of FashionRef GT 513.K813 1968
Stagecraft Fundamentals: A Guide and Reference for Theatrical ProductionRef PN 2053.C32 2009
What People Wore: A Visual History of DressRef GT 513.G6 1952
What People Wore When: A Complete Illustrated History of CostumeRef GT 511.L474 2008

Biographical Resources

Dictionary of Literary BiographyOnline under Articles & Databases A-Z
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature. 5 volumes.Ref PS 153.N5.G73 2005
The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature. 4 volumes.Ref PS 21.E537 2004
The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature. 5 volumes.Ref PR 19.O95 2006
Famous Actors and Actresses of the American Stage. 2 volumes.Ref PN 2285.Y6 1975
American Women Stage Directors of the Twentieth CenturyRef PN 2286.8.F55 2008
Notable Women in the American Theatre: A Biographical DictionaryRef PN 2285.N65 1989
Theatrical Directors: A Biographical DictionaryRef PN 2205.T54 1994

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CONSULS Online Catalog for Books and Media

CONSULS catalog workstations are located in the Reference Area on the first floor, and on each of the other floors of the Haas Library. You may logon to CONSULS via the WCSU Libraries Homepage at or directly at For more detailed instructions on searching, please see the yellow CONSULS flyer on the display rack on the first floor.

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


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: Stage Lighting Design: A Practical Guide (press RETURN or ENTER)
Or just: stage lighting design (press RETURN)


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

Example: stanislavsky konstantin (press RETURN or ENTER)
Or just: stanislavsky k (press RETURN)

To limit search results to items owned by WCSU, click on Limit/Sort in the toolbar at top of screen, select WCSU under "WHERE Item is Located" and then click on the gray Limit/Sort bar at bottom of screen.


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 RETURN or ENTER)
Or just: bernhardt s (press RETURN)

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

Bernhardt Sarah 1844 1923 (main heading is subdivided)
Bernhardt Sarah 1844 1923--Appreciation--England
Bernhardt Sarah 1844 1923--Biography
Bernhardt Sarah 1844 1923--Career in motion pictures
Bernhardt Sarah 1844 1923--Discography
Bernhardt Sarah 1844 1923--Fiction
Bernhardt Sarah 1844 1923--Performances--United States


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.

Type: Theater--History--20th century (press RETURN or ENTER)
Or just: theater history (press RETURN)

PLEASE NOTE: Library of Congress subject headings use the American spelling Theater, not the British spelling Theatre, and that Theaters is a separate heading. The following Library of Congress subject headings pertain to theatre arts:

Theater (many subdivisions, some geographical)
Theater--Moral and ethical aspects
Theater--Political aspects
Theater--Production and direction
Theater--Study and teaching
Black theater
Burlesque (Theater)
Children's theater
Commedia dell'arte
Community theater
Costume (many subdivisions)
Costume design
Drama (many subdivisions)
Drama--History and criticism
Experimental theater
Improvisation (Acting)
Method acting
Minstrel shows
Motion pictures and theater
Movement (Acting)
Musical theater (many subdivisions)
One-act plays
Opera (many subdivisions)
Puppet theater
Reader's theater
Repertory theater
Set designers
Stage adaptations
Stage directions
Stage fencing
Stage fighting
Stage fright
Stage lighting
Stage management
Stage props
Street theater
Television and theater
Theater and society
Theater architecture
Theater audiences
Theater in literature
Theater management
Theater--Production and direction
Theater rehearsals
Theaters (many subdivisions)
Theaters--Sound effects
Theaters--Stage-setting and scenery
Theatrical makeup

If you are interested in theatre arts of a specific country or geographic location, add the country or location to the heading Theater:

Example: Theater--Japan--History
Example: Theater--New York (State)--New York--History


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

Example: (soliloq* or monolog*) and (woman or women or female* or actress*) press RETURN or ENTER
Example: broadway and (lyricist* or songwriter* or librettist*) press RETURN
Example: (costume* or dress or clothing) and (elizabethan or tudor or shakespeare*) press RETURN
Example: character acting and (hollywood or film* or movie* or cinema) press RETURN
Example: beckett and experimental and (theat* or drama*) press RETURN

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 to indicate which command 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 WCSU's copy is checked out, you may order the item electronically via Inter-Campus Loan by clicking on Request at the full record display in CONSULS. Then 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 contact 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 4-5 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

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 over 8,000 newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals in most fields, including theatre and drama, with 4,000 available in full-text.
Coverage: Issue number one to within 1-5 years of present
Location: Under Articles & Databases: Most Popular on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Full-text of over 400 core scholarly journals in more than 25 disciplines, including language and literature (complete backfiles).
Literature Criticism Online
Coverage: Includes the series Drama Criticism (DC) and Shakespearean Criticism (SC)
Location: Under Articles & Databases: A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Excerpts and in some cases full-text of articles published in English-language scholarly journals in literature and language.

Naxos Music Library (NML) and Naxos Music Library: Jazz
Coverage: Streaming audiofiles of over 17,000 CDs on the Naxos and other labels. CD quality sound. Not downloadable.
Location: Under Articles & Databases A-Z at the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Classical, jazz, world, folk, pop and rock music. Browsable by title and searchable by keywords. Faculty playlists only.
Oxford Music Online (formerly Grove Music Online)
Coverage: Contents of the print editions of New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (second edition), New Grove Dictionary of Opera, New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (second edition), Oxford Companion to Music, and Oxford Dictionary of Music.
Location: Under Articles & Databases A-Z at the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Full-text articles on music by period, form, and genre; composers and performers; and musical instruments, with musical examples and extensive bibliographies, browsable and keywords searchable.

ARTstor Digital Library
Coverage: 1.6 million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with a suite of software tools for teaching and research.
Location: Under Article & Databases: A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Keywords search retrieves documented images of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, decorative art, architecture, and more. Also browsable by geographic area, classification, and featured group.
Bridgeman Art Library
Coverage: More than 360,000 high-quality digital images from galleries, museums, and private collections worldwide.
Location: Under Article & Databases: A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Keyword searching retrieves documented images of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, decorative art, architecture, and more.
Oxford Art Online (formerly Grove Art Online)
Coverage: Artists, genre, movements, techniques, etc., with art image links to over 40,000 images. Articles are browsable and keywords searchable; pictorial content is keywords searchable.
Location: Under Articles & Databases: A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: History of world art, including biographical information about artists.
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 at the CONSULS main menu, then type the name of the periodical (example: theatre journal) and press RETURN. 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 A-Z 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. Under most circumstances, Interlibrary Loan is a free service, but please allow at least ten working days for delivery. You will be notified as soon as the material arrives. Faster document delivery service is available for a reasonable fee. Please inquire at the Circulation Desk on the first floor or phone the Interlibrary Loan Desk at (203) 837-9114.

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Do You Have a Question?

The Reference Desk on the first floor of the Haas Library is staffed by a professional librarian who is trained to assist in your research, or you may contact Joan Reitz, Instruction Librarian, at (203) 837-8308 or My office is located in Room 402 on the fourth floor of the Haas Library (near the glass elevator).

Please send your comments to Joan Reitz, Haas Instruction Librarian, Western Connecticut State University.
Last updated on August 25, 2016.