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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Theatre Research Resources: Theatre History

A guide to help students researching topics in theatre.

Digital Collections

Local Collections

Theatre History

American Theatre Companies, 1749-1887. By Weldon B. Durham. Wesport: Greenwood, 1989.
PN2237 A447 / Music and Performing Arts Library Reference

3 volumes. Information about theatre companies listed chronologically and by state, with an index of personal names and play titles. Includes bibliographies for further reading.

American Theatrical Periodicals, 1798-1967: A Bibliographical Guide. By Carl J. Stratman. Durham: Duke UP, 1970.

016.7914 St8a/ Main Reference
Lists of theatrical magazines and periodicals published in the U.S., along with which libraries hold them. Arranged chronologically.

Annals of the New York Stage By George C. Odell. New York: AMS, 1970 (1949).

792 Od2a 1970 / Main Reference
Comprehensive, 15-volume history of New York theatre, covering 1700 to 1894. With index.

Encyclopedia of the New York Stage, 1920-1950. By Samuel L. Leiter. Westport: Greenwood, 1985.
PN2277.N5 L45 (and 1989 and 1992)/ Music and Performing Arts Library Reference

Information about theatrical productions, listed by title with index in last volume.

London Stage: 1660-1800. By William Van Lennep. Carbondale: SIU, 1965
792.09 L846 / Main Stacks and Oak Street

5 parts, total of 11 volumes. Information compiled from playbills, newspapers and theatrical diaries. Arranged chronologically with index.

London Stage: 1890-1959. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1976.
PN2596.L7 L663 / Music and Performing Arts Library Reference

A total of 16 volumes. Information from playbills, arranged chronologically with indexes in the final volume of each part of the series.
Also available online in the Eighteenth Century Drama (linked to the left) or here.

Notable Names in the American Theatre. Ed. W. Rigdon. Clifton, N.J.: J.T. White, 1976.
PN2285 N683 / Music and Performing Arts Library Reference

Lists the New York premiers of plays before 1976.