The best source for finding reviews of concerts, dance performances, or plays is newspapers.
To determine what resource you'll need, consider the context of the review you're looking for:
1. If you don't know what city the performance was in or would like a wide mix of reviews, start with the databases listed below or Lexis Nexis to find reviews from many newspapers.
2. If you know the particular newspaper you need, search the Online Journals & Databases link on MPAL homepage for individual newspaper titles, like the New York Times (see the slideshow below for how to do this).
3. If you need historic reviews, start with:
Some tips that work in most, if not all, of the online search tools
The quotation marks let the database know that you need those words to appear together and in that order and the AND limits the results to articles containing both phrases.
Newspapers are a really good source for reviews and criticism. Check the Online Journals & Databases for individual paper titles, like the New York Times, or use the "News" tab of Lexis Nexis to search several papers at once.
You may also find that you need older papers than are available in the above tools. One of the best resources to use when looking for historical newspapers is ProQuest Historical Newspapers. This will allow you to search newspapers from New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C.
Some ProQuest tips:
Finding reviews of books, scores, and recordings is much like finding journal articles. Use the journal databases to search.
Finding reviews of performances usually requires access to newspapers or trade publications. IIMP can be good for this, but for newspaper reviews, you need sources that include newspapers, like Lexis Nexis or ProQuest Historic Newspapers. Use SFX (Online tools A-Z list) to look for these tools or the names of major newspapers to find where we have access online.
This guide was created by Mandi Goodsett, MPAL Graduate Assistant, Fall 2011. It has been updated by others over time.