Skip to main content

Theater History: Start Here

A guide library resources for the study of theatre history

Guide to Content

This subject guide is designed to introduce you to some of the resources available for the study of theater history.  Click on the tabs above or the links below to browse the pages with tips on finding books, articles, and videos.


Journals and Databases



Have questions? Want to discuss your research? Contact me.


Best Bets

A multimedia anthology selected from various Library of Congress holdings. This collection illustrates the vibrant and diverse forms of popular entertainment, especially vaudeville, that thrived from 1870-1920. Included are 334 English- and Yiddish-language playscripts, 146 theater playbills and programs, 61 motion pictures, 10 sound recordings and 143 photographs and 29 memorabilia items documenting the life and career of Harry Houdini. Groups of theater posters and additional sound recordings will be added to this anthology in the future.
Black Drama
This database contains the full text of 1200 plays by more than 150 playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa, the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries.  Some plays are rare, hard-to-find, or out of print.
Internet Broadway Database
The official database for Broadway theatre information. IBDB provides records of productions from the beginnings of New York theatre until today. You can access IBDB by clicking on 'Databases' on the Libraries' home page and then clicking on 'I' in the alphabetical listings.
An interdisciplinary, multimedia collection of resources supporting literary, textual, historical, and performance studies. Resources include the most recent Arden Shakespeare editions of the complete works, as well as editions and adaptations of Shakespeare’s works published during Shakespeare’s time, prompt books, the Gordon Crosses Theatrical Diaries, criticism, reviews, images, and reference works.