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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Theatre Research Resources: Journal Articles

A guide to help students researching topics in theatre.

Getting Started

  • Journal articles offer detailed looks at very specific topics. 
  • Journal databases (or indexes) allow you to search across hundreds of journals and identify specific articles.
  • These databases include journals beyond those held at Illinois. While many articles are available online or available in print in our libraries, those that are not can be requested through InterLibrary Loan (see "Getting full text" tab.)
  • Articles can be scholarly or popular. For how to tell the difference, select the "Is it Scholarly" tab.
  • How do you read an article citation to understand what you're looking for? Select the "Reading citations" tab.

Theatre Databases

There are a lot of databases out there (see our full A-Z Database List), but some major ones for the study of theatre are listed in the box below. Here's a quick breakdown on some key differences between major ones:

Database Name Vendor Subject Focus Coverage (depends on title) Description Tips
Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL) ProQuest English language and literature (more of a literary focus) 1892 - today Results will include journal articles and more (monographs, critical editions of literary works, book reviews, collections of essays, and doctoral dissertations) You can search both ABELL and Performing Arts Periodicals at the same time by clicking Databases above the search bar
International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance (IBTD) EBSCO ballet, cinema, comedy, dance, drama, film, mime, opera, puppetry, and theatre 1907 - today Results from over 190 full-text journals and 360 full-text books and monographs; covers all aspects of theatre and performance in 126 countries You can search IBTD at the same time as other EBSCO databases
JSTOR JSTOR humanities, social sciences, and sciences ???? - today Results from top peer-reviewed scholarly journals as well as respected literary journals, academic monographs, research reports from trusted institutes, and primary sources Great tool for interdisciplinary topics and can be a good starting point since it also includes book content
Performing Arts Periodicals ProQuest theater, dance, film, television, stagecraft, broadcast arts, storytelling, and more 1864 - today Results from over 400 scholarly and trade journals, magazines, books, and newspapers You can search both ABELL and Performing Arts Periodicals at the same time by clicking Databases above the search bar

Find Articles in Databases