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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

International Student Guide to Using MPAL

This guide provides tips and resources for international students (or other students!) who need a little extra help doing college-level research at the Music & Performing Arts Library.

Research at MPAL

MPAL has many resources to support you in your research! From choosing a topic, to gathering background information, to finding more specialized books and scholarly articles on your topic, the Library is here to help.

  • The Starting Your Research box includes information about navigating MPAL and finding specific Library materials. It also includes some library guides - lists of books, databases of scholarly articles, and more - to help you get started researching a variety of performing arts related topics!
  • The Selected Books box introduces research methods, trends, and prominent topics in performing arts research. If you are looking for general reading to get you started or to see some of the current conversations happening in your field, these books may be a good place to start.
  • The Finding Scholarly Articles box collects performing arts databases and links several guides to help you find academic articles through the Library.

Remember, this is just a sampling of the resources available to you. If you aren't finding what you need, or you have any questions about using the library or finding materials, ask a librarian!

If you want support understanding the research process and conducting your own research, The Craft of Research is a great introductory guide!

Getting Help

If you have any questions about research or using the Library, you can get help in-person at the service desk or remotely via chat or email. You can also use the buttons bellow to schedule an appointment or research consultation with one of MPAL's librarians to meet one-on-one and discuss your research. 

Starting Your Research

The guides listed below will help you navigate MPAL to find the materials you need. If you are looking for a specific type of resource (like music materials - scores, recordings, books about music - or playscripts), the guides linked below will show you how to search for and access them through the Library.

MPAL and other campus libraries have numerous guides to help you with your research! If you can't find what you're looking for and don't know how to get started, please reach out to a librarian and we would be happy to give you some recommendations!

Selected Books to Guide Your Research

Finding Scholarly Articles

Use the links below to see the performing arts databases the library subscribes to. These databases are where you should look for scholarly articles. If you need help planning out a search strategy, learning how to navigate an article database, or evaluating your sources, look at the library guides linked in the next tab of this box.

Using article databases can be intimidating and confusing! We've created several guides to help you plan a search strategy and navigate a database with confidence. Check these out and don't be afraid to reach out to a librarian if you need extra help!