Dance and Performing Arts Research Guide
Locating Journal Articles
Searching for Journal Titles
Search here for a specific journal title or to see a list of performing arts journals (print and electronic) held by the library. You may also browse journals by subject (choose Fine Arts and Music).
Core Performing Arts Databases and Indexes
MLA (Modern Language Association) International Bibliography
Index and abstracts to scholarly journals in literary studies, drama, and folklore, with links to full text. Drama and literature in English and other languages are represented. Coverage: 1926 to present.
Full text of major newspapers and transcripts of radio and television broadcasts from major media outlets. Searches may be limited by document type to reviews or interviews. Coverage: varies by newspaper; check publications list (click on Publications link in upper left of display).
General and Multidisciplinary Databases
JSTOR | ProQuest: The Arts | OmniFile Full Text Select | Academic Search Elite | ECO
These databases include the full text of articles in a broad array of scholarly and popular journals, including those in the performing arts. Some also include newspapers and general interest publications. Coverage varies.
Books about the performing arts are located on the second floor in the 700s, with works on drama as literature in the 800s. Scores, music literature, and music theory books are shelved on the second floor
according to the Library of Congress Classification System (M, ML, MT).
Find books, journal titles, and media in the Wells College Library.
Search for books, journal titles, dissertations, and media in other libraries, and request material via Interlibrary Loan.
Selected Web Resources
There are a vast number of online resources relating to performing arts. Listed here is a selection of historical collections, reference sites, and gateways to online resources in dance, theatre, and music.
Intute: Dance and Librarians' Internet Index: Dance
Searchable gateway sites with annotated links to online resources in dance including choreography, performance, dance history, dance education, theory, and criticism.
Dance Style Locator
An encyclopedic guide to dance styles and instrumentation from six continents. The site is arranged by region and provides illustrated essays on cultural roots of world dance.
Great Performances: Free to Dance
Explores the role of African-American choreographers and dancers in the development of modern dance. Includes a timeline (1619-2001), historical and thematic essays, biographies of African-American dancers, recommended resources, and lesson plans. As the online companion to the PBS film of the same title, this site also contains transcripts of interviews with those featured in the program.
Intute: Theatre and Drama
Searchable gateway site with annotated links to online resources in theatre and the dramatic arts including performers and playwrights, theatre craft, theory and criticism, and production and performance.
Inter-Play: An Index to Plays
Nuts-and-bolts index to plays published in journals and collected in books. Useful for finding scripts of dramatic works. Includes citations for over 40,000 works in English and other languages.
Searchable gateway site with annotated links to online resources covering music theory, composition, performance, composers, and musicians.
The Mutopia Project: Free Sheet Music for Everyone
Over 1,500 titles of down-loadable sheet music for vocal and instrumental soloists and ensembles. Searchable by composer, instrument, and musical style. Primarily classical, but the site also includes "creative commons" contemporary material.
Sheet Music Collections
A gateway site to digital sheet music collections available through numerous libraries. Maintained by the Duke University Music Library. Most material is pre-1920.
Selected Historical Resources
New York Public Library: Performing Arts in America, 1875-1923
Over 16,000 digital objects including images, sound, and moving images, documenting the performing arts in America.
Library of Congress Performing Arts Encyclopedia
Guide to performing arts collections at the Library of Congress including digital resources rich in audio, moving images, photographs, and text. The site links to presentations on topics and collections; articles and biographical essays; finding aids to collections; databases for performing arts resources; and a Performing Arts Resource Guide which contains entries for hundreds of Library collections, online resources, databases and exhibits.
An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals ca. 1490-1920
Digital resource includes full text of dance manuals and video clips of social dance steps over five centuries.
Encyclopedias provide concise, summary information about persons, events, and ideas, and may be a good place to start your research. Reference books are located in the stacks near the main desk. Selected titles include:
International Encyclopedia of Dance (1998) R 793.3 qI61
American Ballet Theatre: Ballet Dictionary
Online resource containing definitions, pronunciation, and video clips illustrating ballet terminology.
Eighteenth-Century Women Playwrights (2001) R 824.82 E34h
The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre, 1900-1975 (1980) R 792.0373 qB86
The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre (1994) R 782.1 qG12e
McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama R 792.03 qM14 1984
The Dictionary of Costume R 391 qW66
Contemporary Composers (1992) R 780 qC73cm
The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music R 780 qG23
The New Grove Dictionary of American Music R 780 qG88da 1986
The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (1988) R 780 qG88dj
The New Grove Dictionary of Opera (1992) R 780 qG88do
Online reference sources including Encyclopedic Dictionary of Women in Early American Films: 1895-1930, The Cambridge Guide to Theatre, and Chambers Film Factfinder.
Citing Your Sources
Check with your instructor to determine if they have a preferred citation style. Generally, scholars in the arts use the format determined by the Modern Language Association. An MLA Style Guide is available online. The MLA Handbook is shelved on the reference desk (R 808 M685 2009). Print copies of other style guides are also available at the reference desk.