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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Theatre Research Resources

A guide to help students researching topics in theatre.

Theatre History

This page collects recommended resources for researching theatre history. Depending on what you're looking for, check out the boxes below to find selected print and ebooks divided by region of focus, databases collecting historical theatre materials, and archival and rare book collections focusing on theatre history.  

If you want to consult images or digital exhibits for your research, be sure to look at our next tab on finding historical images for theatre research!

Selected Books

Digital Primary Source Collections

Below you'll find databases that include historical theatrical materials. If you are looking for scholarly articles on theatre history, check our our Finding Journal Articles for Theatre Research guide for additional database recommendations. 

Rare & Archival Materials at Illinois

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) has a few collections focusing on 19th and 20th century theatre. If you need to consult primary sources for your research or just want to check out some of the library's special materials, the two collections listed below are an excellent place to start!