Subject Guide: Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies

Contact the Academic Liaison Librarian with responsibility for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies

Helping you discover ... Drama Theatre and Performance Studies (printable PDF)

Reference materials

Contemporary Dramatists Key Text Reference 809.204/CON

International Dictionary of Theatre Key Text Reference 792.03/HAW

World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre Key Text Reference 792/RUB

Archival Sound Recordings
The British Library Sound Archive, one of the world's largest sound archives, offers a ground-breaking online digital resource of sound recordings reflecting the broad spectrum of its holdings. 

Dictionary of National Biography 50,000 biographies of people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from the earliest times to the year 2002. Includes portraits and images. 

Grove Music provides online full text access to: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, second edition. Grove online includes audio examples, bibliographies and external web links. 

International Encyclopaedia of Dance Covers the full spectrum of dance—theatrical, ritual, dance-drama, folk, traditional, ethnic, and social dance. Cultural and national overviews accompanied by entries on dance forms, music and costumes, performances, and biographies of dancers and choreographers. Also available through Oxford Reference Online 

Naxos Music Library gives access to over 80,000 tracks (5,500 CDs) from the entire Naxos, Marco Polo and Da Capo music catalogues online. Genres of music covered include: classical, jazz, blues, world music, Chinese music, Ballet, film music and opera. On and off campus access is with a Naxos password which can be obtained from the Library Enquiry Desk. N.B. Requires Real Media Player 9/10

Oxford English Dictionary A fully searchable online version of the Second print edition of the OED. 

Oxford Reference Online: Performing Arts Collection Full text encyclopaedias and dictionaries in the performing arts. An 

Multimedia and Image Resources

Theatre in Video 
From Alexander Street Press in the USA, this resource contains more than 250 of the world’s most important plays, including BBC Shakespeare plays, together with more than 100 video documentaries, online in streaming video—more than 500 hours in all. Access is via Shibboleth off campus.

ARTSTOR A digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes. Please note this resource is currently only available on campus.

Journals and Newspapers

Printed Journals
Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies journals are held on the 4th floor of the library. Some older issues are kept in our reserve stack. Check OPAC for full details of holdings.

Electronic Journals
The full text of selected journals is available online. For more details about how to access these, look at our electronic journals web page

JSTOR Arts & Sciences includes the complete back runs of over 400 titles .

Nexis is a full-text database covers approximately 12,000 international, national and local publications, including newspapers. 

Project Muse Humanities and Social Sciences Collections
Full text access to over 200 electronic journals in the arts and humanities. 

Finding Journal Articles

Bibliographic databases that you can use in order to find journal articles that are relevant to the particular topic you are studying are listed below. For more details on how to search for journal articles quickly and effectively, look at our web page: Finding Articles in Journals.

Bibliography of the History of Art Covers all aspects of art history, including performance art. 

Arts and Humanities Citation Index This database fully indexes over 1,100 of the world's leading arts and humanities journals, from 1981 onwards. Available through the Web of Science gateway. 

British Humanities Index The BHI indexes 300 British journals and newspapers from 1985 onwards, covering subjects such as Art, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy and Religious Studies. Available through the CSA gateway. 

Early English Books Online Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in Britain and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700 . It covers many subject areas and key playwrights such as Chaucer and Shakespeare. Some of the works can be searched from the full text.

International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance A fully indexed, cross-referenced and annotated databank of over 60,000 journal articles, books, book articles and dissertation abstracts on all aspects of theatre and performance in 126 countries. 

LION - Literature Online c350,000 complete works of English and North American poetry, drama and prose from the 8th to the 21st century, with thousands of critical articles, essays, biographies and encyclopaedia entries. Contains the full text of many journals, plus biographical information about thousands of authors.

MLA (Modern Languages Association) International Bibliography This is a major source of information on literature, indexing over 3000 journals and many books and theses as well. 


The library now offers access to a growing number of e-books relevant to your subject area. You can find access e-books via the OPAC or search the text of all e-books in a collection the e-book web site directly.

Ebrary offers access to over  35,000 titles many of those relevant to your studies. Try searching for 'drama' and 'theatre' and 'performance'. If you are off campus, you will also need to download a reader from the Ebrary web page. This is a straightforward process and takes a few seconds

Cambridge Collections Online Electronic access to the entire Cambridge Companions series, including the Cambridge Companions to Literature and Classics, and the annual Shakespeare Survey. Access off campus is via Athens (students can do this via student myzone; staff please contact your Liaison Librarian if you do not have a staff Athens login).

Visit our e-book page to find out more and to see other e-book platforms Roehampton University subscribes to!

Useful Web Sites British Theatre Extensive links to theatre sites on the web, with a mainly British bias.

Applied and Interactive Theatre Guide A resource for those interested in the therapeutic, community and other social uses of drama and theatre techniques.

The Arts Council of England Provides detailed information on arts funding in the UK.

Arts Journal Links to full text articles on the arts that have appeared in newspapers around the world (primarily in the US and UK). Can be searched by category e.g. Theatre.

Black Arts Alliance Black Arts Alliance web site offers a network for Black artists in the UK. The site links with other black organisations such as Black Theatre Network

Brief Guide to Internet Resources in Theatre and Performance Studies An American site compiled and maintained by Professor Ken McCoy of Stetson University, Florida.  Resources are arranged by topic, such as actors/acting, stagecraft and technical theatre, Shakespeare and arts management. Includes a section on finding primary material on the Internet.

British Library - National Sound Archive Drama and Literature Collection The British Library, Sound Archive, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB Tel: 020 7412 7676

Holds many types of sound recording of interest to drama researchers.  Researchers can listen to some of the material online as well as view the catalogue online. Appointments to use playback facilities must be made at least a week in advance. Telephone for more information.

BUBL LINK A catalogue of selected Internet resources, browsable by subject. The section on Creative Arts contains many theatre links.

Forced Entertainment Collection - British Library This British Library Collection holds a large collection of video and audio material documenting the performances and talks of the live art company, Forced Entertainment.

INTUTE - Arts and Humanities Service The INTUTE arts and humanities hub provides a large collection of high quality links to scholarly resources. There is a link to Film, Drama and Media Studies along with links to on-line dictionaries, electronic texts and other libraries. Includes a search facility.

In Yer Face Theatre A site devoted to the new British Theatre of the 1990s.

The Live Art Archives A research resource developed at Nottingham Trent University, this site provides a database of Live/Performance Art publications and other materials in collections in the UK. Current events are documented, and the site contains many audio visual clips.

The London Theatre Guide - Online This guide has been a source of information on London Theatre since August 1995. Its objective is to provide an up-to-date and comprehensive West End theatre listings service including fringe and other London listings. Fringe theatre productions are only listed if a press release has been received from the theatre.

Literary Resources on the Net Contains a section on Theatre and Drama.

Palatine - Performing Arts Learning and Teaching Innovation Network. Palatine is one of 24 subject centres set up to support the learning and teaching of dance, drama , music, theatre and performance in Higher Education by providing a network of links to Drama, Theatre and Performance web resources.

AHDS Performing Arts collects and promotes the use of digital resources to support research and teaching across the performing arts: dance, theatre, film, broadcast arts and music. Its web page provides links to major Internet resources in the performing arts.

Royal Shakespeare Company Provides details of current performances as well as news items and information on past productions.

SCUDD The web site of the Standing Conference of University Drama Departments includes a section of regularly updated links.

The Stage The Stage is the world's longest established entertainment trade weekly, which also has a connect service for people who want to get into the industry. It offers a selection of news, features and reviews and also has an audition and recruitment display.

Touchstone The Touchstone Shakespeare Project is funded by the British Library Co-operation and Partnership Programme. This new online service allows users to locate Shakespeare resources and archives, identify current and previous productions and access information on related conferences, theatre groups and societies. Questions can also be submitted to the Shakespeare Enquiry Service.

UK Theatre Web Discussion, news and listings. Link to the Arts Archive to search a database of the details of thousands of UK productions and performances since 1995.

Voice of the Shuttle Subtitled the "web page for Humanities research", this site provides a vast list of links to resources in all areas of the humanities.  Try the section on Drama, Theater and Performance Art Studies, or the section on Media Studies which includes TV, Film, and media theory and history.

What's On Stage A national ticketing service that also provides reviews of current productions, up-to-date theatre news and articles on performing arts related topics.

Access to other libraries

Full information on using other university libraries and how to access other libraries' catalogues, look at our Guide to using other libraries.

British Library Newspaper Library Colindale Avenue, London, NW9 5HE Tel: 020 7412 7353
Stocks daily and weekly newspapers and journals dating back to 1801 for the London area and to 1700 for the rest of England, Scotland and Ireland.  Telephone to check on procedures.

Raymond Mander and Joe Mitchenson Theatre Collection Jerwood Library of the Performing Arts, Trinity College of Music, King Charles Court, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, SE10 9JF Tel: 020 8305 4426
Extensive collection of playbills, programmes and other primary source material which are fully searchable using the online catalogue. Their book collection is not open access but users can request to look at books when visiting. Telephone to check on procedures.

National Theatre Archive Royal National Theatre Archive, Salisbury House, 1-3 Brixton Road, Kennington Park, London SW9 6DE Tel: 020 7820 3512
An archive that holds documentation relating to the establishment of a 'national theatre', including production material, administrative records and videos of recent productions. Access to the archive is by appointment only.

V&A Theatre Collections Online Theatre Collections Reading Room, Blythe House, 23 Blythe Road, London, W14 0QX

E-mail for an appointment in the reading room (needs to be arranged 2 weeks in advance)

Since the closure the the Theatre Museum in Convent Garden in January 2007, the V&A are making available those theatre collections online. This is a huge project and work is in progress. The library of the V&A Theatre Collections holds complete runs of many 20th century periodicals relating to the theatre and has a strong reference collection. An appointment is necessary to use the reading room

Westminster Reference Library 35 St. Martins Street, London WC2H 7HP Tel: 020 7641 4636
This public reference library has a good performing arts collection.


In this section

© Copyright 2014. Roehampton University. All rights reserved.