James H. Thomason Library

Theatre 221 Guide: History of the Theatre II
Reference Sources



Arthur Miller's, Death of a Salesman, 1949

Lee J. Cobb & Mildred Dunnock as Willie & Linda Loman

  Print Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, etc
  eReference Books & Collections
  Style Guides
Locating Books
  PASCAL, WorldCat
Locating Articles & Criticism
  Reference Sources & Criticism
  Articles, Essays, Book Chapters
  Journal Finder
  Key Journals
Internet Resources
  General Sources
  Special Collections & Manuscripts
Get Help

denotes recommended resource

denotes library subscription

Reference Sources:    

Print Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, etc

  back to top

For background information and definitions refer to the following library reference works and online reference collections:


Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama, Columbia University Press, 2007.

Main Level, Reference: R 809.2 C723C [2 vols]

Dictionary of the Theatre, Terms, Concepts, Analysis, University of Toronto Press, 1998.         
Main Level, Reference: R 792.03 P288D

Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History, Scribner, 2001.

Main Level, Reference: R 973.03 En19E3 [3 vols]

Encyclopedia of German Literature, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, c2000.

Main Level, Reference: R 830.90003 En19E [2 vols]

The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theater, Maxwell Macmillan Canada, c1994.

Main Level, Reference: R 782.14 G159E [2 vols]

Encyclopedia of Social History, Garland, 1994.

Main Level, Reference: R 306.09 En19E

A Handbook to Literature, William Harmon, 9th ed., Prentice Hall, 2003.

Main Level, Reference: R 803 H228H

A Historical Dictionary of German Theatre, Scarecrow Press, 2006.
Main Level, Reference: R 792.0943 G765H

A Historical Dictionary of Japanese Traditional Theatre, Scarecrow Press, 2006.
Main Level, Reference: R 792.0952 L536H

New Title! Historical Dictionary of Modern Japanese Literature and Theater, Scarecrow Press, 2009.

Main Level, Reference: R 895.609 M615H

McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama, McGraw-Hill, 1984.                  
Main Level, Reference: R 809.2 M178M [5 vols]

Reader's Companion to American History, Houghton Mifflin, 1991.

Main Level, Reference: R 973.03 R227R

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, St. James Press, c2000.

Main Level, Reference: R 973.9 Sa22S ebook also

World Encyclopedida of Contemporary Theatre, Routledge, 2001.

Main Level, Reference: R 792.09 W893W


eReference Books & Collections
back to top


A Dictionary of Literary Symbols [CREDO Reference], Cambridge University Press, 2007.
The first dictionary of symbols to be based on literature, rather than "universal" psychological archetypes, myths, or esoterica. Concentrates on English literature, but its entries range widely from the Bible and classical authors to the twentieth century, taking in American and European literatures.  
Earlier print ed. available, Main Level, Reference:
R 809.915 F373D [2000]



New title! Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature [GVRL], Gale, 2009.

Covers world authors from many periods and genres, building an understanding of the various contexts -- from the biographical to the literary to the historical -- in which literature can be viewed. Identifies the significant literary devices and global themes that define a writer's style and place the author in a larger literary tradition as chronicled and evaluated by critics over time.



CREDO Reference Collection

Search entire collection of 100 e-book encyclopedias or these individual titles:

Sage eReference Collection
Search entire collection of e-encyclopedias dealing with social issues.
Many theatre topics are covered in this large social science collection, however no encyclopedias in this collection deal specifically with the theatre. 

Gale Virtual Reference Library [GVRL]

Individual titles in GVRL:

Oxford Reference Online Premium Collection please log-out after use-5 users only

Individual titles in ORO:







Biography   back to top

Literature Resource Center [Thomson Gale]
Search here for your playwright or use advanced search criteria to compile a list of authors by type. Contains biographical information from print sources at PC including Contemporary Authors, Dictionary of Literary Biography, American Writers, British Writers and thirteen Scribner print sources.


Dictionary of Writers and Their Works [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford University Press, 2003.
British literature from the fifteenth-century to the present including major American and Commonwealth writers.

Encyclopedia of World Biography, Gale, 1998.
Main Level, Reference: R 920.02 En19E [17 vols]
Alphabetically arranged long essays on reputable personalities throughout history who have made great contributions to human culture and society.

European Writers
, Scribner, 1983-1991.                                                     
Main Level, Reference:
R 809.894 Eu74E [vols 5-14]
Volumes arranged chronologically from Medieval period to the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment to the 20th Century. The last volume is an index to the set. Lengthy coverage of each author.

The Female Dramatist: Profiles of Women Playwrights from the Middle Ages to Contemporary Times, Facts On File, 1998.
Main Level, Reference: R 809.2082 P258F

Search authors/playwrights individually as subject.


Style Guides   back to top


Humanities: Documenting Sources [Research and Documentation Online], Bedford/St. Martins, 2003.


MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed., Modern Language Association, 2009.
Main Level, Reference Collection or Ready Reference Shelf:  R 808.027 M72M


Writing Center, Presbyterian College
Citation styles, writing guides, and scheduling an appoingment with a tutor.




Locating Books    
THOMCAT   back to top

Use the online catalog to locate books and ebooks in Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name:              
  Brecht, Berthold 1898-1956 [as AUTHOR] by him  
  Brecht, Berthold 1898-1956 [as SUBJECT] about him  
  Miller, Arthur [as AUTHOR]  
  Miller, Arthur [as SUBJECT]  
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to history of the theatre:

THOMCAT subjects related to class topics:

books @ PC
  Musical Theater
  Stoppard, Tom - Criticism and interpretation
  Theater History

Wilde, Oscar




PASCAL subjects


easy to order! arrive in 3-5 days

  Musical Theater
13 +
  Stoppard, Tom - Criticism and interpretation
  Wilde, Oscar

Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog, however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • Try a KEYWORD search if you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use. Search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.
  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.
KEYWORD Searching Tips

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
absurd AND theatre


· Use OR between words to expand your search and
group words with parentheses:
(miracle OR mystery) AND play*


· Add * to the root of a word to truncate or expand
a term:
theat* = theater, theatre, theaters, theatrical


· Use "quotes" around a phrase:

"theatre of the absurd"

"Waiting for Godot"

Try KEYWORD searching in THOMCAT, the PASCAL
catalog & library databases



NetLibrary has been acquired by EBSCO eBook Collection

THOMCAT searches will provide links to many eBooks, as well as to print books and Reference eBook collections.


Example of a EBSCO eBook title in THOMCAT:

Shakespeare, the Queen's Men, and the Elizabethan performance of history [electronic resource], Brian Walsh, Cambridge University Press, 2009.


PASCAL Catalog

If you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, search PASCAL for books in other academic libraries in SC. Using PASCAL Delivers, you can locate and order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days.


PASCAL Catalog searching is similar to searching in THOMCAT. An added BONUS in THOMCAT is a
pass-through from search results in THOMCAT
to the same search results in PASCAL
with one click on the PASCAL icon like the red box on the right.

The pass through is available on any search at any level:

  • A PC book you need is checked out? Click the PASCAL icon for other copies available in SC.

  • Need more items on a subject? PASCAL items on that subject are just a click away.

This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL- Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library. Click here for searching and ordering tips.



A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in PASCALCAT.

Interlibrary Loan

ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to borrow resources from other libraries. Check link for instructions.


Locating Articles & Criticism:    
Reference Sources & Criticism   back to top

Literature Resource Center
[Thomson Gale]
Biographical, bibliographical and contextual information from the Contemporary Authors and Dictionary of Literary Biography databases, as well as full-text criticism from the Contemporary Literary Criticism Select database. Contains full-text journal articles from more than 250 literary journals, critical essays, author biographies, and definitions of literary terms from Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature.

Drama Criticism, Gale Research, 1991- .  

Main Level, Reference: R 809.2 D79D [16 vols]

Critical Survey of Drama, Salem Press, 2003.                                 
Main Level, Reference: R 822.009 C869C [8 vols]   

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale Research, 1973-2005.
Main Level, Reference: R 809.04 C676C [194 vols]


Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, Gale Research, 1978-2005.

Main Level, Reference: R 809.04 T918T [ 154 vols]


Articles, Essays, Book Chapters   back to top

Academic Search Premier - Humanities [EBSCOhost]
Search this subset of full text peer-reviewed humanities journals indexed in Academic Search Premier.

MLA International Bibliography  [EBSCOhost]
Indexes critical literary and language scholarship and provides access to journals and serials published worldwide, as well as books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies. Nearly 45,000 records are added annually.
http://hdl.handle.net/1880/44661 link to MLA Tutorial - basic search. Choose Shockwave Flash


Arts & Sciences Collections I, II, & III contain an archive of over 350 full-text journals which are searchable through JSTOR or accessible through Journal Finder. The collections include journals in the humanities. This archive covers the full run of journals from the first issue of volume one; however, the most current three to five year issues of the journals are not available as specified by the publishers in their agreements with JSTOR.

Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection  
Current and recent volumes of 112 core journals in the humanities and social sciences.

Journal Finder   back to top

Journal Finder provides access to PC's electronic and print journals,

magazines, and newspapers in one convenient location.

Your search results in PC article databases contain many direct links to article full text.

If no direct links are shown, follow the "Check Journal Finder" link to find full-text (follow steps 1-6 below).




Example of an article citation:


Chitra Ragavan, Terror on the streets,

U.S. News & World Report 137.21 [vol.issue]
(Dec 13, 2004): p 20.


If you already have an article citation and are trying to find text for a specific article,

click the link below and follow the steps to determine whether full text

is available for the article:

  • Note the journal title & date OR volume / issue you need before following the Journal Finder link.
  • The default search is Journals by Title in Full Text. Type the title of the journal or magazine in the box below (example: U.S. News & World Report).
  • You may need to select your title from the results. Click on the title you seek.
  • Results for your title include up to three categories: Full Text Resources in your library (in print), Full Text Resources Online, and Indexing Only (not full text).
  • Note the dates available for that journal. If "Full Text Online" is not available, look under "Full Text in your Library" - we may have what you need in print.
  • Choose, year and issue OR volume and issue, then look through contents of that issue for the article you need. Articles are usually listed in page number order and are available in HTML or PDF format.



Thomason Library subscribes to thousands of eJournal; however, full text is not available for every journal. Some journal publishers embargo or withhold current issues so that subscribers will continue print subscriptions.


Key Journals   back to top


Search journal title in Journal Finder to determine availability at Thomason Library:

American Drama
Original studies of American dramatic literature from colonial to contemporary times, with greater emphasis given to the period of the twentieth century to the present.

Comparative Drama
A scholarly journal devoted to studies international in spirit and interdisciplinary in scope. Essay submissions are invited from scholars in all areas of drama.

New Theatre Quarterly

Provides a vital international forum where theatrical scholarship and practice can meet and where prevailing dramatic assumptions can be subjected to vigorous critical questioning. It shows that theatre history has a contemporary relevance, that theatre studies need a methodology and that theatre criticism needs a language. The journal publishes news, analysis and debate within the field of theatre studies.

Theatre History Studies
Critical, analytical, and descriptive articles on all aspects of theatre history since 1981.

Theatre Journal
Drawing contributions from noted practitioners and scholars, Theatre Journal features social and historical studies, production reviews, and theoretical inquiries that analyze dramatic texts and production.

Theatre Topics
Focuses on performance studies, dramaturgy, and theatre pedagogy with concise and timely articles on a broad array of practical, performance-oriented subjects, with special attention to topics of current interest to the profession.


Internet Resources:  
General Theatre Sources   back to top

The Costumer's Manifesto [Tara Maginnis, PhD]
Costume history, stage costumes, accessories, costume and textile museums worldwide, shop equipment, vintage clothing, and more.

Internet Theatre Database  (ITDb)  [Keith Scollick]

Called the "unofficial history of theatre," this site has been completely opened up to anyone and everyone to add content. Search a play in the database and get unofficial information on recent productions: theatre, artistic/production staff, origional broadwas cast, comments, and more.

Justin’s Drama & Theater Links  [Justin Cash, Head of Drama at Avila College, Melbourne, Australia]

Theatre History section provides links to theatre-related websites from around the world. 

Introduction to Literature – Drama [Bedford/St. Martin’s]                                     
Numerous links to information on playwrights.

Musicals 101 [The Cyber Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre, TV and Film, John Kenrick]
Created by Kenrick in 1996, this site is devoted to the history of musical theater. It now numbers more than 600 pages. A series of essays cover selected performers and shows, how musicals are made, and more. Special features, reference resources, and reviews make this site a lot of fun for fans and a valuable resource for librarians and researchers. description from ACRL recommended Internet Resources, 2005


Special Collections and Manuscripts   back to top


Project Gutenberg
Producer of literary eBooks in the public domain.

Script Archive [TheatreHistory.com]

Choose from full-length, one act, 10 minute plays, or monologues.


Get Help   back to top
Stop by the
Reference Desk

Teresa Inman 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437


Hours: 8.30 am - 10 pm for research questions & assistance. Personal appointments also available.
Copyright © 2008 by Presbyterian College • 503 South Broad Street • Clinton, South Carolina 29325 • 1-864-833-2820