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A guide to performing research on Theatre & Theatre Arts

Why use reference works?

Consider using encyclopedias and other reference sources when you begin researching a topic. Some encyclopedias will provide more in-depth information than others, but any general encyclopedia is a good source to consult for background information of your chosen subject area. Most encyclopedias provide the following:

  • Main concepts, including names, dates, places
  • Keywords and subject terms related to topic
  • Lists of related articles or additional resources

Subject focused encyclopedias

These subject encyclopedias are located on the main floor:

  • The Encyclopedia of Novels into Film: Reference Shelves PN1997.85 .T54 1998
  • The Encyclopedia of Stage Plays into Film: Reference Shelves PN1997.85 .T544 2001
  • The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre & Performance: Reference Shelves PN2035 .O94 2003
  • Screen World Presents the Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors: Reference Shelves PN1998.2 .S38 2003
  • The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre: Reference Shelves PN1861 .W67 1994
These are available online:

Subject focused dictionaries

These subject dictionaries are located on the main floor:

  • The Film Studies Dictionary: Reference Shelves PN1993.45 .B53 2001
  • Historical Dictionary of African American Theater: Reference Shelves PN2270 .A35 H53 2009
  • Historical Dictionary of American Theater: Modernism: Reference Shelves PN2266.3 .F57 2008
  • How to Speak Shakespeare: Reference Shelves PR3072 .P75 2001
  • The New Biographical Dictionary of Film: Reference Shelves PN1998.2 .T49 2002
These are available online:

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