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Theatre: Databases for Journal Articles/Reviews

This guide covers resources for the study of drama and theatre at OSU, including how to find plays and reviews

Databases for Journal Articles/Reviews/And More

Below are the key subject databases to search for journal articles on theatre studies, theatre history, acting, theatrical productions, stagecraft, and drama criticism.  Many of the databases have full-text articles, but if the full text is not available, click on the Article Linker link ( ).  If another database from the OSU Library has the full text of the article, it will be displayed in a new window or a link to it will appear.  If an article is not available online from another database, you can get a copy of the article from interlibrary loan.  Click on the "Request a copy of this article" link and log in to the Interlibrary Services page that comes up.  The article citation information will automatically appear in the interlibray loan form.  Click the "Submit" button, and you will receive an email when your article is available, usually within 48 hours.

Databases with the double asterisks (**) before the names are the best ones to search for threatre topics.

You will need to log in with your OSU email address and O-Key to access these databases off-campus.  Click HERE to log in.


Databases for Research Articles/Criticism

  • **MLA International Bibliography (via EBSCO) is the largest, most comprehensive database to search for articles from over 4,400 international journals, book chapters, books, etc. of literary criticism from 1926 to the present.  It includes literary/drama criticism of English-language and foreign-language authors and literary works along with articles on linguistics, folklore, and related fields.  Some articles will have abstracts (summaries).  The MLA International Bibliography from EBSCO has full text and linked full text articles. 
  • Humanities International Complete is an EBSCO database covering 2,300 journals and full text for 1,200 journals in several humanities fields, especially literature, threat re, history, philosophy, religious studies, etc.  Contains some full-text journal articles, books, and other publications.
  • **Project Muse provides full-text access to 43 journals published by The Johns Hopkins University Press and other university presses.  Includes journals in theatre studies, theatre history, literary criticism, and other humanities and social sciences disciplines.  Coverage varies from 1993-2007 to the present, including new content as it comes out.
  •  **JSTOR provides full-text access for over 1,450 scholarly journals in theatre, literature, and history, and many other humanities and social sciences disciplines.  Coverage is generally from 1900-2000, and there is a 3-5 year moving wall embargo for new content.
  • World Shakespeare Bibliography Online is a searchable electronic database of Shakespeare-related scholarship and theatrical productions published or produced worldwide between 1961 and 2008. It contains over 117,490 annotated entries consisting of books, articles, productions, films, and other sources.
  • Digital Dissertations/Dissertation Abstracts from ProQuest has the full text of doctoral dissertations in many different fields from universities in the United States and beyond.  OSU dissertations from 1961 to the present are included, and the database has dissertations from many universities from the late 1990s to the present.


 General Databases for Criticism/Reviews

The following are general library databases with some full-text articles from journals and other periodicals covering many subject areas.  They are not specific to any one field, but are multidisciplinary and worth consulting along with the subject-specific databases listed above.  These databases are good for finding reviews of theatrical productions.

  • **ProQuest (Research Library) indexes over 4,700 journals, magazines, and newspapers many subject fields from approximately 1970 to the present, and includes full-text articles from over 3,300 journals.  Select "Reviews" under Source Type to find reviews, and enter the title of the play or the director, etc. (information about the production).
  • Academic Search Premier from EBSCO has citations and abstracts from over 8,500 journals (4,600 with full-text articles) from 1975 to the present.  Select "Entertainment Review" in Document Type.
  • New York Times (1995 - present) and New York Times Historical (1851-2006), both from ProQuest, contain theatre reviews from the early 1900s to the present.  Enter the title of the film (try selecting Document title in the drop-down menu beside the search box)  and check the box for "Review" under Document type in the Search Options section below the boxes.
  • Times (of London) Digital Archive (1785-1985) has theatre reviews from the early to late 20th century.  Select Advanced Search on the left-hand menu, and then check "Reviews" under the Arts and Entertainment category, and type the film title into the search box.  Note:  Factiva has The Times from 1981 to the present.


ARTstor (Images)

For visual images of theatrical productions, costumes, theatres, etc., the ARTstor image database is a good resource.  It has licensed modern and historical photographs, reproductions of paintings, and other images that can be used for educational purposes.  See this library research guide for more information on searching ARTstor.


E-Book Play Scripts

  • Black Drama, Second Edcontains approximately 1,462 plays by 233 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more. The database also includes selected playbills, production photographs and other ephemera related to the plays.
  • North American Indian Drama contains 244 plays by 48 Native American playwrights. More than half of the works are previously unpublished, and hard to find, representing groups such as Cherokee, Métis, Creek, Choctaw, Pembina Chippewa, Ojibway, Lenape, Comanche, Cree, Navajo, Rappahannock, Hawaiian/Samoan, and others

Key Journals for Theatre

Below is a selected list of key journals on theatre and theatre history available in online, full text format the OSU Library.  An OSU O-Key login is needed to access these titles.

Modern Drama

TDR: Drama Review

Theatre History Studies

Theatre Journal

Theatre Research International

Theatre Survey

Theatre Topics