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TAPS 1240: Performance Historiography and Theatre History

Resources for researching histories of performance and related topics, for Patti Ybarra's spring 2021 course.

Welcome your library guide for TAPS 1240: Performance Historiography and Theatre History.

Here you'll find a variety of library resources to help you in your research, including primary and secondary sources.

For more detailed advice on beginning your research, evaluating sources, and more, check out our Research Help DIY Guide.

Utagawa, Kunisada. Actor Ichikawa Danjûrô in a Noctural Fight Scene with Iwai Kumesaburo 2nd from the play Tayoriari gohiki no tsuna performed at the Kawarazaki Theater in 1832. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of the Friends of Arthur B. Duel.

Research Help: Spring 2021

For access to Library hours, and to reserve a seat for study space in the Rock, SciLi, or the Hay, visit the online reservation system.

For information on remote access to Library resources, visit the Library homepage.

Chat live with a Library staff member (8:00 am - 9:00 pm ET) here.

Contact Laura Stokes, the Performing Arts Librarian, for questions related to researching theatre and performance. Contact Heather Cole with questions on accessing resources at the John Hay Library as well as primary sources generally.

Beginning your search

You can use Brown's Library Search Tool to search the library catalog for materials held physically and digitally at Brown.  If you wish, you can use Boolean search terms (AND, OR, NOT) to focus your search but be sure to capitalize them.

A keyword search will turn up two results screens. On the left side are books, ebooks, and archival material, and on the right side are a variety of subscription holdings, including journal articles. To focus your search, click on the Filter button on either side and choose how you'd like to narrow down your list of results or click on one of the suggested subject headings that appear at the top of the page.

Are you new to humanities research? Take a look at our Humanities Research Guide, which will help you through the process of beginning your search to writing the paper.

Searching by Subject Heading

One way to find material using library catalogs is to do a "subject" search.  This search looks for terminology found in the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) assigned by cataloguing staff to each book as subject identifiers for the volume. But you do not need to do a "subject" search to reap the benefits of LCSH terms --  the terms are cross-linked, so that you can follow the subject heading links from one book to find other works on the same subject. You can also combine search terms for more focused searching. Below are a few examples of subject searches pertinent to this course:

Theater > United States > History

American drama > History and criticism

American drama > African American authors > History and criticism

Dramatists, English > Early modern, 1500-1700

Theater audiences > England > History

English drama > Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600 > History and criticism

...this list is not exhaustive! Email Heather or Laura for help with more detailed searches.