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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Stage Lighting

A guide to resources about the study and practice of stage lighting.


Welcome to the Music & Performing Arts Library (MPAL) guide to stage lighting resources!

Use the tabs to the left to navigate this guide, and don't hesitate to reach out to a librarian if you need extra help. 

Depending on your research topic, you may also want to check out some of our other theatre studies library guides. If you're interested in watching plays to study examples of stage lighting, be sure to explore our streaming media platforms linked below!

Tips for Exploring the Collection

Browse the Shelves:

To explore in person at the Music & Performing Arts Library, check the shelves with the call number ranges listed below:

Stage, set, and lighting design: PN2085-2096 and 792


Browse the Catalog:

Each item in the library catalog is assigned one or more subject heading to tell you what it is about. You can search by subject heading using the catalog's Advanced Search feature. 

To search by subject in the catalog:

  • Open the library catalog and click on "Advanced Search" to the right of the search bar
  • Underneath "Search filters", you'll see that the default is set to "Any Field"
  • Click on the arrow next to "Any Field" and select "Subject" from the drop-down menu
  • Try a search with one of the subject headings recommended below
  • Once you've found a relevant book in the catalog, you can also use the subjects listed in the record to find additional related materials

 Here are some suggested subject headings to help you retrieve the most helpful resources from the catalog:

  • Stage lighting
  • Stage lighting designers
  • Theater lighting
  • Stage lighting history
  • Stage-setting and scenery

Note that relevant materials may be held both at MPAL and at other libraries across campus. If you're searching in the catalog, be sure to check the item's location before heading to the shelves.


This guide was created by MPAL GA Emily Schneider in Spring 2014 and substantially revised by MPAL GA Amanda Crego-Emley in Fall 2022.