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Research Guide to Theater Arts: Library Resources

A list of resources available through Truxal Library for researching topics in theater arts

Circulating Materials

To find books, audio/visual materials, or print periodicals on your topic, conduct a keyword or subject search in the Library Catalog.

Try synonyms and related terms:

urban   OR   hip-hop
square dance   OR   country dance
en pointe   OR   point work 

From the information you find in the Catalog, be sure to note:

  • the Location of the item in the Library Building 
  • the item's Call Number 
  • whether the item is available or has been checked out

To become more familiar with finding materials in the Library's print collection, here's a guide to using Library of Congress call numbers:

Library Databases

Click on the links below to search for articles from periodicals (magazines, journals, newspapers, etc.) and for information from electronic books and multimedia resources. From off-campus, you will need to enter the barcode number from the back of your AACC photo ID or Truxal Library card.

Academic Video Online
Commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries about theater topics, along with hundreds of performances of plays, streaming opera, and more

Academic OneFile
Articles from periodicals like Theatre History Studies, Theatre Symposium, American Theatre, Comparative Drama, and more

Project MUSE
Articles from scholary journals like Modern Drama, Theatre Journal, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, TDR: The Drama Review, and more

JSTOR Arts & Sciences Collections
Archived articles from scholarly journals, including Theatre Journal, TDR, and PAJ

National Newspapers & The Sun
Current issues and archives of the New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and more

Ebook Central
Over 20,000 electronic books covering many subjects, including a number of titles about acting, actors, dramatists, drama, and theater

EBSCO eBook Collection
Nearly 50,000 electronic books, covering all academic disciplines

ABC-CLIO eBook Collection
Contains a number of books dealing with theater themes and history  

Daily Life through History
Information about drama and theater around the world, throughout the ages

Credo Reference & Gale Virtual Reference Library
Information about dramatists, drama, and theater in the U.S. and in other cultures from an array of electronic reference books


Need Overviews or Literary Criticism of a Play or Playwright's Work?
Visit our Research Guide to Literary Criticism.

Searching for Full Text

No full text available?
Have only an article's abstract or just a citation?

Use the library's Finding Articles from Citations page, which is part of the Finding Materials from Citations Guide.

For assistance, contact the reference desk at 410-777-2456 or

Print Reference Materials

Find these materials in the Reference Section of Truxal Library:

  • Actors on Acting: The Theories, Techniques, and Practices of the World's Great Actors, Told in Their Own Words  (Ref) PN2065 .C55 1999
  • American Drama Criticism: Interpretations, 1890-1977  (Ref) PS331 .P3 1979
  • Broadway Musicals, Show by Show  (Ref) ML1711 .G735 2008
  • The Cambridge Guide to Theatre (Ref) PN 2035 .C27 1995
  • The Cambridge Guide to World Theatre  (Ref) PN2035 .C27 1988
  • The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama  (Ref) PN1861 .C65 2007
  • Contemporary American Playwrights  (Ref) PS352 .B54 1999
  • Contemporary Dramatists  (Ref) PR106 .C5 1993
  • The Crown Guide to the World's Great Plays, from Greece to Modern Times  (Ref) PN6112.5 .S45 1984
  • Dictionary of the Black Theatre: Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Selected Harlem Theatre  (Ref) PN2270 .A35 W64 1983
  • Drama Criticism  (Ref) PN 1601 .D59
  • Dramatists and Drama  (Ref) PN1721 .B66 2005
  • English Renaissance Theatre History: A Reference Guide  (Ref) PN2589 .S78
  • The Facts on File Dictionary of the Theatre  (Ref) PN2035 .F27 1988
  • History of the Theatre  (Ref) PN2101 .B74 2008
  • An International Dictionary of Theatre Language  (Ref) PN2035 .I5 1985
  • The Ivan R. Dee Guide to Plays and Playwrights  (Ref) PN2305 .G73 2003
  • Major Modern Dramatists  (Ref) PN1861 .M27 1984
  • McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama  (Ref) PN1625 .M3 1984
  • The Oxford Companion to American Theatre  (Ref) PN2220 .B6 2004
  • The Oxford Companion to the Theatre  (Ref) PN2035 .O83 1983
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Plays  (Ref) PN1625 .P38 2005
  • A Reader's Guide to Modern American Drama  (Ref) PS350 .S74 2002
  • Scripts  (Ref) PN6112 .A5 2002
  • Theatre Backstage from A to Z  (Ref) PN2091. M3 1999
  • Theatre: History, Criticism, and Reference  (Ref) PN1620 .C48
  • Twentieth-Century American Dramatists  (Ref) PS351 .T9

Research Assistance

More ways to get help:


MLA-style and APA-style guidelines change over time, especially for citing sources accessed electronically.  For the most up-to-date information about how to cite sources correctly, visit these pages:

Using a citation generator from a database or website?
Doublecheck to be sure the generator has used the newest rules.


eBook Spotlight: Theater Reference Books

You might find the following eBooks useful for researching theater arts.  You will need to enter the barcode number from your AACC photo ID or the back of your Truxal Library card to access these resources from off-campus.

Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography