Pathfinder: Drama Resources



How to Find Books in the WPCC Library

Clip Art of theater masksUse our library catalog, found at one of our catalog terminals near the library entrance or online here. If you are looking for materials about or by a particular author, select “Simple Search” from the Search drop-down menu and enter the author’s last name.  You can also enter a keyword from a particular title that you are interested in.  There is great value in browsing the shelf area where you have found a relevant book, and don’t forget that introductory material to your author’s works can contain valuable literary criticism and biographical information.  Look in the section of the shelves marked PN through PS to find books specifically about Drama, including plays, monologues, and literature.


Selected Reference Books

  • Critical Survey of Drama (Ref. PR 623 .C75 1985)
    The first five volumes of this series, with entries organized by author’s last name, provide some general information about the author and the works of that author, including some critical analysis.  The sixth volume contains essays about various forms and aspects of drama, including Staging and Production, Irish Drama, and Television Drama.
  • Dictionary of the Performing Arts (Ref. PN 1579 .M66 1999)
    Gives brief definitions to words of the world of stage art (music, dance, theater, etc.), including many slang and jargon words.
  • The Literary Criticism Series, including:
    Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism (NCLC) (Ref. PN 761 .N5)
    Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC) (Ref. PN 771 .C59)
    Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (TCLC) (Ref. PN 771 .G27)
    Contemporary Authors (CA) (Ref. Z 1224 .C6)
    These series are cross-referenced amongst each other. To find the entries about your author, look in the most recent volume of any of these series (the book at the end of the last shelf containing the series) and find your author in the index of that volume. The abbreviations stand for the various series, CA for Contemporary Authors, CLC for Contemporary Literary Criticism, etc.  A volume number is given for the location in each series, and, in each volume, entries are alphabetical by author.  Included are information about the author’s life, a list of principal works, excerpts of published criticism, and a bibliography of criticism.
    (Note:  Authors of the ancient world will not be found in these series.  To find information about these authors, try Greek and Latin Authors 800 B.C.-A.D. 1000 (Ref. PA 31 .G7) or Crowell’s Handbook of Classical Drama (Ref. PA 3024 .H35)
  • Masterplots (Ref. PN 44 .M33 1996) (covers a variety of literary forms, including drama)This series, organized by work title, provides a basic plot outline, critical evaluation, and a bibliography.
  • McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama (Ref. PN 1625 .M3)
    Contains entries on individual dramatists (ancient through modern), drama of particular geographical areas, anonymous plays, theatre companies, and genres.
  • The Oxford History of World Cinema (Ref. PN 1993.5 .A1 O96 1997)
    The articles are grouped first by general time period (Silent Cinema 1895-1930, Sound Cinema 1930-1960, and Modern Cinema 1960-1995), then into subheadings within those time periods (Cinema in the Age of Television, for example).  Within those subheadings are sets of articles by individual authors (“The New Hollywood,” for example)


Where to Look for Online Periodical Articles

There are two main groups of online databases offered by the library: NC Live and the Academic OneFile.

IMPORTANT: If you want to access these resources off campus, you will use the same username and password  you use to log in to any campus computer.


NCLive provides access to more than 60 databases. Some are general, covering a wide range of material and some are subject-specific. Two good places to begin your search are:

  • For magazine and journal articles, use the “Article” link under the “Browse by Type” heading. Next you choose your database. Proquest Central is recommended. Remember to always choose the “Full Text” option under “Limit your Results”.
  • Literature Resource Center – This database is part of NCLive, but a separate link is on the database web page.  Scroll about half way down the list to locate Literary Reference Center.  You can enter a specific author, work or literary movement.

Thompson Gale Academic OneFile Database

Academic OneFile database provides access to citations, abstracts, and full text articles relating to a wide variety of disciplines, including the study of drama.

You can also search on the World Wide Web for sources, but be careful- many web pages contain wrong, biased, or out-of-date information. You can use the following reference source as a guide to what should be fairly reputable online resources:

  • Theatre Sources Dot Com (call number: REF PN 2052 .C38 2001)


Recommended Websites


update 10/2017

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