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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Finding Journal Articles for Theatre Research

This guide is an introduction (or a refresher) to searching for, accessing, and evaluating articles for theatre research.

Choosing a Database

Use the Theatre-Specific Databases tab of this guide to learn about databases that specialize in theatre resources.

Use the Interdisciplinary Resources tab or this guide if your topic crosses multiple disciplines or if you are interested in researching the broader social or historical context for your topic. 


For databases from the same vendor (like EBSCO or ProQuest), you can choose to search them simultaneously! This can be a useful tip if you want to do a more exhaustive search and review many results at once.

In an EBSCO database, like Music Index or Play Index, there's a "Choose Databases" button above the search bar that will allow you to select additional databases by name to cross-search.

The Choose Databases button in an EBSCO search interface appears above the search bar to the right of the database name.

The menu in a ProQuest database like Music Periodicals Database is on the far left side of the screen. Click on the menu icon (looks like three lines) to expand the list of options and select "Change Databases"

In a ProQuest database, like Music Periodicals Database or Performing Arts Periodicals Database, there's a menu in the top left corner of the screen that looks like three stacked lines.

Clicking on this menu will expand a list of options where you can select "Change databases".

Once you're in the "Change Databases" screen, you have two options.

Choose individual databases from the list by marking the checkbox next to their name (this option is available in the "View by name" screen, which is the default view). You can also use "View by subject" option to select all arts databases and retrieve results from across all arts subject areas.

The options to browse additional ProQuest databases to include in your search are "View by name" and "View by subject". These options are listed next to each other above the list of databases