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Theatre & Drama: Research Guides 
Check out below for help finding different types of information, specific resources, and research hints for more specific areas within the broader subject of Drama/Theatre.

Quick Links to Topics:

Finding fashion resources.
Locate plays published in collections.
Critiques of plays and information about playwrights.
Reviews of productions.
Information about a play's era.
Information about a play's geographical area & social customs.
Videos and sound recordings.

Finding Fashion Resources

  • Style.com
    This online home of Vogue is a wealth of photographs of celebrities, models, and fashion trends for all seasons. The Runway Search provides an easy way to search for those images.
  • firstVIEW
    A fashion database and photo archive of over 2 million current fashion photos, videos, and more. Browsable by designer, collection, country, and date (earliest dates are mid-1990s).
  • The Costumer's Manifesto
    This site of costume-related links was created by Tara Maginnis, a former professor and costume designer. Fashion history links range from pre-historic to current fashion.
  • Fashion Era
    This website contains 705 content-rich, illustrated pages of fashion history, costume history, clothing, fashions, and social history from Regency era through the 1990s.
  • The Costume Gallery
    This site presents over 3,600 pages of period (1800s through mid-1900s) fashion articles, catalogs, books, and images. The site can be browsed, but most images require a subscription account to access.
  • Fashion Plate Collection- University of Washington Libraries
    Images of fashion plates from French, British, American, and other continental fashion journals of the 19th and early 20th century. Era and keyword searchable.
  • Theater Photography from the Theresa Helburn Collection Bryn Mawr College  
    "This image database includes descriptions and low-resolution copies of over 1100 production and publicity photographs relating to the Theatre Guild. Each photograph has been indexed by photographer and by subject, and, where applicable, by play title and playwright."
  • Intute.UK 
    This site pulls together other sites for your research.  To find fashion resources, from the main page, click on "Creative and Performing Arts," then "Fashion and Beauty,"   
  • Time Life Photo Search in Google 
    "Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google."  You can also search the collection in a regular Google Image search by typing the phrase source:life after your search term.
  • Creative Commons Search 
    "Search.creativecommons.org offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations."  With a Creative Commons license, the file creator keeps the copyright but allows people to copy and distribute work provided credit is given and speific conditions are met. 
  • Content DM Online Collections 
    "Here you will find records representing a sampling of collections created by the hundreds of libraries and cultural heritage organizations using CONTENTdm today. Some records represent individual collections; some connect you to entire digital libraries. Each record attempts to describe the breadth and depth of the resources you will find when you access the site using the URL listed in each record."
  • LUNA Imaging Online Collections 
    "Listed below are selected collections currently available to the Insight community along with a description of the collection, terms of use, and contact information."
  • To find books on fashion and fashion history:
  • Check out call number ranges:
    GT 510 - GT 1741 (Costumes and fashion) 2nd floor
    TT 504 - TT 835 (More on costumes and fashion.)
    TR's (Photography- looking at the images can give you ideas)
    Don't forget to check out the oversize books at the end of the section.
  • Reference Books:
    Encyclopedia of Clothing & Fashion REF. G7 507 .E53 2005
    Fashions of a Decade REF. GT 596 .F374 2007
    Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing Through World History REF. GT 507 .G74 2008 v.1-3
    Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing Through American History, 1900-present REF. GT 615 .G74 2008 v.1-2
    The Complete Costume History REF. GT 510 .R3313 2003 
  • Find books on the history of a time period, and look for photographs:
  • Check out call number ranges:
    E 841-842 (the 1960's) 2nd floor
    E 835's (the 1950's)
    Books about specific events often include photos too, example WW2.
    Don't forget to check out the oversize books at the end of the section.
  • Curriculum Collection
    Look through text books in the curriculum collection on the second floor to find pictures of children dressed in 1970's - 1990's fashion.
  • Reference Books:
    American Decades REF. E 169.12 .A419
  • Useful Magazine Primary Sources: If you want to look at images of everyday from the 1930's forward, old issues of periodicals may be useful to you.

    Magazines from 1990-2007 are on the 1st floor in alphabetical order.
    Magazines from 1945-1989 are on the 4th floor in alphabetical order.
    Magazines from before 1945 must be requested at the Circulation Desk.

    Explanation of the formats for magazines we have here at Millikin.
    Loose = Each issue is separate, just like it would have been bought at the store.
    Bound = The issues for the volume have been bound together into a book.
    Microfilm = Scanned onto microfilm, the issues are now only in black-and-white.

    Some titles to consider:
  • American Film Shows what they were wearing in the movies for that time.
    1975-1991 loose, some issues missing.
  • American Libraries Pictures of librarians, professors, and library patrons.
    1939-1971 bound, 1972-present loose.
  • Fortune Pictures of the general public, advertisements.
    1930-1959 bound, 1960-1962 microfilm, 1963-1989 bound, 1990-2001 microfilm, 2001-present loose.
  • Life Pictures of the general public, advertisements.
    From 1936-1960 are kept loose, 1960-1972 on microfilm, 1978-2000 are on microfilm.
  • Modern Photography These are photography images, but do show fashion at the time the image was taken.
    1977-1989 loose, some issues missing.
  • Newsweek Pictures of the general public, advertisements.
    From 1945-present either loose or bound.
  • Parents Pictures of children, parents, and their dress, adversements.
    1931-1959 bound, 1960-2001 microfilm, 1945 is missing.
  • Parks & Recreation Pictures of people at recreation & enjoying the outdoors.
    1966-1968 microfilm, 1969 loose, 1970-1986 bound.
  • Saturday Evening Post General public, famous people, advertisements.
    1982-1999 loose.
  • Sports Illustrated Pictures of sports stars, athletes, and their fans.
    M1970-1979 on microfilm, 1980-1994 bound, 1995-2001 microfilm, 2001-present loose.
  • Time Pictures of the general public, advertisements.
    From 1937-1960 are bound, 1960-1961 on microfilm, 1961-present are bound.
  • U.S. News and World Report Pictures of the general public, advertisements.
    1948-1960 bound, 1960-1963 microfilm, 1964-present are bound.
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    Reference Sources to locate plays published in collections such as Best American Plays:

    Play Index
    Ref. PN 2021 .P53 (cumulated every 5 years)
    In 5 year cumulations, presents information on where plays were published during that period, includes separately published plays and plays in collections.
    Ottemiller's Index to Plays in Collections
    Ref. PN 1655 .O8 1988
    Provides information on where plays published from 1900-1985 are published in collections.
    Drury's Guide to Best Plays
    Ref PN 1655 .D83 1987
    Information on 1,500 plays in English from all dramatic periods, includes publication information and synopsis. Subject index lists plays that take place in various settings.
    Index to One Act Plays
    Ref. PN 1625 .L64
    Indicates where one-act plays appear in collections.

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    Reference Sources to locate critiques of plays and information about playwrights:

    The New York Times Theater Reviews
    REF. PN 1581 .N48
    Arranged chronologically, the New York Times Theater Reviews reprints the newspaper's reviews of performances. We have volumes for 1870-1970. Indexes are available to help you locate information on specific plays.
    Critical Survey of Drama
    Ref. PR 1625 .C68 2003
    Detailed biographical information, analysis and critical information for each author's works. Organized by author.
    American Playwrights Since 1945: A Guide to Scholarship, Criticism, and Performance
    Ref. PS 350 .A53 1989
    Critical and biographical information as well as bibliographies for further information. Organized by author.
    American Women Dramatists of the Twentieth Century
    Ref. PS 351 .C68 1982
    Bibliographies of critical information about authors and plays.
    Dramatic Criticism Index
    Ref. PS 351 .C68 1982
    Bibliographies of critical information about authors and plays.
    A Guide to Critical Reviews
    Ref. PN 2266 .S16 1984
    Bibliography of reveiws of American plays, from 1909-1982. Organized by author.

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    To locate reviews of productions:

    Reference Sources:
  • New York Times Theater Reviews
    Ref PN 1581 .N48 (1870-1970)
    Complete copies of reviews that appeared in the NewYork Times from 1870-1970.

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    To locate information about a play's era:

    Reference books to consult:
  • DAY by DAY: The 30's Call Number: REF. D723 .D39 2007
  • DAY by DAY: The 40's Call Number: REF. D427 .L4
  • DAY by DAY: The 50's Call Number: REF. D427 .M44
  • DAY by DAY: The 60's Call Number: REF. D427 .P27
  • DAY by DAY: The 70's Call Number: REF. D848 .L4
  • DAY by DAY: The 80's Call Number: REF. D848 .M451995
  • DAY by DAY: The 90's Call Number: REF. D856 .A93 2003
    The DAY by DAY series of books literally goes day by day for the entire decade, letting you know what was going on worldwide. Includes daily categories for political issues, social issues, technology, science, nature, and divides the world up by continents. Example: Jan 5, 1933, Europe- "France happily interprets Senator William Borah's speech to mean that if France does not pay its war debt to the United States, then the United States would enter negotiations to readjust the debt." Reading gives you a good scope of the time period.
  • AMERICAN DECADES Call Number: REF. E169.12 .A419 1994
    With one volume per decade, the books in this collection contains chapters on world events, the arts, business and the economy, fashion, education, government and politics, law and justice, lifestyles and social trends, media, medicine and health, religion, science and technology, and sports. Every chapter lists a chronology of important events, an overview, people who made the news, deaths for that subject, and a bibliography of other publications to consult for more information.
  • FACTS-ON-FILE YEARBOOK Call Number: REF. D410 .F3
    Library has 1971-1993, so if you are doing a contemporary play, might be useful. Has weekly updates of the most popular news headlines.
  • Millennium Year by Year REF. D 11 .M56 2000
    Highlights major events of each year.
  • Timetables of History REF. D11.G78 1991
    Very brief lists of major events of each year, by category.
  • The library has other reference books on world history, and other historical time periods.

    Finding books in the online catalog:

    When you are gathering an overview of what was going on during the time of your play, look for issues that could have affected the characters. When you find one that you want to study more indepth, do a search in the online catalog to locate books on that topic. If you need help, please ask!

    Newspapers:To find out more about what was happening, newspapers may be helpful.
  • For online newspaper databases:
    Go to the library homepage, and click on the link for "Find Articles, Audio, and Images". Then under databases by subject, choose "News". In all of these databases, look for how to limit the searches by date.
  • Also, we have microfilm of Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, & Washington Post.
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    Information about a geographical setting and social customs:

    When you know where you play is located, you may want to learn more about that place.

    Reference books to consult (there are more than listed here below):

    Ref. GN 333 .W67 1998
  • ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CHICAGO Ref. F 548.3 .E53 2004
    Ref. DS 43 .E53 2004
    Ref. E 169.1 .G73 2004

    If any specific customs or cultures are contained in your production, it would be helpful to look up more books on the topic in the online catalog. Don't forget about interlibrary loan.
  • Websites

    • Pew Forum on Religion "The Forum functions as both an information clearinghouse and a town hall. As a clearinghouse it tracks and aggregates news and conducts independent research, including surveys, legal backgrounders, reports, books and Q&A interviews. As a town hall, it provides a neutral venue for discussion. In these roles, the Forum serves as an important information resource for political leaders, journalists, scholars and public interest groups."
    • Lonely Planet.com This site from the makers of the printed guides provides information on travel and destinations worldwide.

    Numerous atlases
    available on the atlas stands. (Located behind the Research Assistance desk.)
  • Columbia Gazetteer of the World Ref.G103.5 C645 1998
  • Brief information of locations around the world.
    Search MILLINET for the following series:
    Search by: Title, enter series title from below:
    Great Ages of Man
    This Fabulous Century

    Other suggestions:
    Look for history books about a specific time period or country.
    Travel brochures: Check the public library or travel agencies.
    Look for magazines or catalogs from the time period.

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    Videos and Sound Recordings:

    Videos can be located via MILLINET select Films/Videos in the Quick Limits drop down options, or through browsing the video collection on the library's first floor. Use the call number ranges on the "books" tab for videos on a particular aspect of theatre.

    To find Sound Recordings, in the online catalog select Music Recordings or Spoken Word Recordings in the Quick Limits drop down option, or by browsing the music collection on the third floor of the library. We have both compact discs and records.

    Websites providing Film Access (For Research for Productions)
    • Folkstreams.net A National Preserve of Documentary Films about American Roots Cultures streamed with essays about the traditions and filmmaking. The site includes transcriptions, study and teaching guides, suggested readings, and links to related websites."
    • Research Channel.org "Viewers access programs online via a live webstream and an extensive video-on-demand library. The library houses more than 3,500 full-length programs that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week." 

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    Millikin University - Decatur, IL
    Millikin University - Decatur, IL