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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Musical Theatre

A guide to finding background information, articles, scores, media, and audition resources related to musical theatre.


Welcome to the Music & Performing Arts Library (MPAL) guide to Musical Theatre research 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. In particular, we are linking a few below that might be helpful. 

Tips for Exploring the Collection

Browsing the shelves for materials related to your topic can be a great way to identify items that may be useful to you! If you find one or two items in the catalog that seem promising, look on the shelves at the items surrounding them.

If you want to read more about call numbers and how to decipher them, check our guide to Classification Systems. If you're not sure where to go in the Library to browse one of these call number ranges, please ask us at the service desk and we'll be happy to point you in the right direction or walk you to the shelves! 

For search suggestions to browse the catalog, check out the next tab of this box!

Suggested Call Numbers

  • General Musical Theatre and Musical Theatre History: ML1711, ML2054
  • Musicals: M1500-M1508
  • Film Musicals: PN1995.9 M86
  • Acting in Musical Theatre: MT956
  • Production: MT955
  • Plots: MT95
  • Librettos (stage): ML48-50
  • Librettos (film musicals): ML52.65-.7
  • Encyclopedias: ML102.M88
  • Bibliographies: ML128.M78

Search by Subject

Each item in the library catalog is assigned one or more subject headings 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

Recommended Subject Headings

  • Musicals
  • Musicals -- Scores
  • Musicals -- History and Criticism 
  • Musicals -- Bibliography
  • Musicals -- Librettos
  • Musicals -- Auditions
  • Musical -- Production and Direction
  • Musical Films
  • Musical Theatre
  • Musical Theater