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A guide to various tools and resources for studying theatre

Why Articles?

Much new research in performance and theatre history is published in peer-reviewed journals (and in books from academic presses). Peer-review is a process where articles are vetted by experts in the field, so they generally carry more academic weight than newspaper reviews, blog posts, and trade magazines.

Caution! Theater vs. Theatre

For almost all online searches, the spelling theater or theatre really matters and can drastically affect search results. Here are some general guidelines:

  • American practice (can be inconsistent):
    • Theater: standard spelling used in most U.S. academic writing and popular journalism about the discipline and productions, as well as the general term for the performance venue. Also the prescribed usage for subject descriptors in U.S.-based library catalogs and journal databases.
    • Theatre: spelling often found in titles of companies, institutes, performance houses, journals, and websites (e.g., Signature Theatre, Schubert Theatre, New York City Theatre; in publisher and distributor names (Applause Theatre, Theatre Communications Group); and in academic and arts-focused writing to express the collective art form (e.g., "the American theatre," "theatre arts," "theatre and performance studies").
  • British and Canadian practice: theatre for all contexts (including titles of books issued  jointly in the U.S. and the U.K., such as the Oxford and Cambridge university presses, and several others).
  • Subject search in library catalog or database: use theater for all contexts (unless working in a Canadian or British resource or catalog), even if the title of the publication has "theatre."
  • Tip: using an asterisk allows you to search for all variations of a word after a certainly letter. For example, a search on theat* will retrieve results with both spellings, plus the plural forms and the adjective "theatrical."

Databases and Indexes for Scholarly Articles

Databases often contain full-text access to scholarly content, while indexes point to the existence of scholarly content and may not provide full-text access. 

If you don't see a Full Text link below the article citation, look for a button labeled "Get it!" This application will check for access to the full text of the article within the library's subscriptions.

If a message is displayed indicating that we don't have access, choose the Campbell Library Interlibrary Loan Request link to order the article through our Illiad online system.