Theater and Performing Arts

Key Online Indexes

  • MLA International Bibliography
    Largest index to scholarly articles on literature, theater, folklore, and linguistics. Until 1956, the emphasis was on scholarship from the U.S. Subject indexing improved in 1981. Spotty listing of books and collections of essays. Does not index book reviews unless very substantial. Published by the Modern Language Association.
  • International Index to Performing Arts (IIPA)
    Indexes over 250 popular and scholarly journals and other resources in the fields of dance, drama, film, theater, opera, puppetry, circus, and other forms of performance. Newer entries include an abstract.
  • International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance with Full Text
    The foundation of this tool is the 14 volumes of the International Bibliography of Theatre (1982-99). This database is now centered in the Theatre Research Data Center and contains more than 170 full-text journals and over 360 monographs and reference tools. Article authors supply abstracts and key words. Subjects include ballet, cinema, comedy, dance, drama, film, mime, opera, puppetry and theater. Mind the gaps in coverage and be careful of limiting by language.
  • Academic Search Complete
    A multidisciplinary index to articles in more than 10,900 journals and other publications in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese; full-text is available for over 5300 journals.

Other Useful Online Indexes

  • Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL)
    Indexes monographs, periodical articles, critical editions of literary works, book reviews, collections of essays, and doctoral dissertations related to English language and literature.
  • Readers' Guide Retrospective
    Covers more than 500 leading American magazines and journals from 1890 to 1982.
  • Humanities International Complete
    Indexes thousands of journals, books and other published sources from around the world, with full text of over 770 journals. Includes all data from Humanities International Index (over 2,000 titles and 2 million records). Subjects covered include archaeology, literature, religion, art, dance, theater, folklore, history, African-American studies, law, women's studies, and more.
  • Essay and General Literature Index Retrospective
    Indexes essays found in over 5,300 volumes, annuals and serial publications from the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. Focuses on the humanities and social sciences, with coverage of economics, political science, history, and literary and film criticism. The printed version, available in the Doe Library, goes back to 1900.
  • World Shakespeare Bibliography Online
    Indexes books, scholarly journals, magazines, dissertations, audiovisual and electronic resources, and professional theatre and film productions worldwide offering research related to Shakespeare, his works, and productions of his work. International in scope with coverage extending to more than 92 languages and representing every country in North America, South America, and Europe, and nearly every country in Asia, Africa, and Australasia.
  • Periodicals Index Online (formerly PCI)
    Indexes over 6000 journals in the humanities and social science with coverage extending back to 1665. Especially useful for early 20th Century journals.
  • Periodicals Archive Online (formerly PCI Full Text)
    An online periodical archive that provides access to several hundred journals in the humanities and social sciences. Can be searched alone or through PIO.
  • IBZ - Internationale Bibliographie der Zeitschriftenliteratur
    Indexes over 5600 journals worldwide, specializing in the humanities and the social sciences. Interlibrary Loan can obtain copies of IBR articles from German partners in digital form quickly at no additional cost to users.
  • C19: The Nineteenth Century Index
    Comprehensive coverage of nineteenth-century books, periodicals, official documents, newspapers and archives. C19 Index draws on the Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue, The Wellesley Index, Poole's Index and Periodicals Index Online to create integrated bibliographic coverage of over 1.4 million books and official publications, 64,891 archival collections and 15.6 million articles published in over 2,500 journals, magazines and newspapers.
    Includes over 1000 scholarly journals with access to more than 2 million articles. JSTOR is an archive which means that current issues (generally the most recent 3-5 years) of the journals are not yet available. For more sophisticated search capabilities, go directly to JSTOR advanced search.
  • Project MUSE
    Contains over 500 scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences. Topics include literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics and many others.
  • Dissertations and Theses (Dissertation Abstracts)
    Indexes graduate dissertations from over 1,000 North American, and selected European, graduate schools and universities. Dissertations published since 1980, and master's theses since 1988, include brief abstracts written by the authors. UC dissertations since 1996 are free for downloading. Other titles can be borrowed through interlibrary loan or purchased online in a variety of formats.


Whether looking for historical context, interviews, reviews or biographical information, the careful researcher ignores newspapers at his/her peril.  News resources are especially helpful for finding information about contemporary authors and playwrights who are not yet the subjects of scholarly attention.

  • LexisNexis Academic
    Full text of over 6,000 individual titles of international, national and local newspapers and wire services; radio and television transcripts; and business, medical, industry, and legislative magazines, journals, and newsletters. Wide geographic coverage and translations from foreign-language sources, as well as news services like the Associated Press, Agence France Press, El Pais and Xinhua (New China) News Agency.
  • Access World News
    Provides full-text of over 2,000 U.S. and international news sources with strong regional coverage of over 200 California papers. Coverage usually from 1990's on. Does not include paid ads.
  • Times Digital Archive
    Online access, fully searchable full text of over 200 years (1785 to 1985, with 1986 to 2003 added later this year) of The London Times, the "world's newspaper of record." [Note: "Sunday Times" is a distinct newspaper with no editorial connection to The Times London, and is not included in this database.]
  • Historical Newspapers Online
    Contains four major historical resources: Palmer's Index to the Times, which covers The Times (London, 1790-1905); The Official Index to the Times (1906-1980); The Historical Index to the New York Times (1863- 1922); and Palmer's Full Text Online (1785-1870).
  • Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)
    Chicago Defender (1905-1975), Chicago Tribune (1849-1987), Los Angeles Times (1881-1987), New York Times (1851-2007), San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922), Wall Street Journal (1889-1993), and Washington Post (1877-1994).
  • Early American Newspapers
    Access to hundreds of historic newspapers published 1690-1820. Can be cross searched with Early American Imprints, Series I and II, Early American Newspapers, American State Papers, and US Congressional Serial Set through the Archive of Americana.
  • 19th Century British Newspapers
    Contains full runs of 49 papers selected by the British Library as representative. It contains regional and national papers in England as well as papers from Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Content comes from penny papers read by the working class and papers advocating political or social movements such as Reform, Chartism and Home Rule.
  • Chronicling America
    This site allows users to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1910 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Includes papers digitized for the California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  • California Digital Newspaper Collection
    The California Digital Newspaper Collection contains over 400,000 pages of significant historical California newspapers published from 1846-1922.
  • Ethnic News Watch
    Indexes over 330 ethnic, minority, and native press publications. Contains news, culture, and history searchable in both English and Spanish. Also includes a retrospective backfile of titles (1959-1989).


International Index to the Performing Arts (IIPA)

LexisNexis Academic

Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)

ProQuest Newspapers

International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance

Readers' Guide Retrospective

Aisle Say: The Internet Magazine of Stage Reviews and Opinion

Curtain Up: The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings

Print Resources
A Guide to Critical Reviews. 3rd ed.
Main Stack PN 1654 .A12 .S23 1984

New York Theatre Critics' Reviews. 1940-1994.
Main Stack PN 1601 .N48

National Theatre Critics' Reviews. 1995-6. James M. Salem.
Main Stack PN 1601 .N48

The New York Times theater reviews. 1870-2000.
Doe Reference PN 2277 N5 .N482, Library has: CUMULATIVE INDEXES: 1870-1970

Review of the Arts, 1975-1996.
New/Micro MICROFICHE 30355d; Guide MICROFICHE 30355d guide

Theatre Record/London Theatre Record, 1981-
Main Stack PN 2596 .L6 .L66, 1991-1998 stored in NRLF

Last Update: 24 Jul 16:21