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THEA 3200: Modern Theatre and Society   Tags: c:all, c:fa/thea3200  

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THEA3200 -- Modern Theatre and Society

Primary Sources - What are they?

  • "first hand" accounts or "original records"
  • written or created at the time an event occurred
  • can also be produced long after the events they describe
  • different types of primary sources:
    • personal records such as diaries, journals, letters, manuscripts,
      speeches and papers
    • autobiographies and memoirs
    • government documents and records
    • published materials such as books (including novels, plays and poetry), magazine
      and journal articles, reports, and newspapers articles written at the time
    • visual materials such as photographs, paintings, sketches, sculpture, video recordings
    • audio recordings
    • artefacts (physical objects from the time)


How to find primary sources using library resources

  • primary sources may be in their original format or may have been reproduced at a later date
    in a different format, such as a book, microfilm collection, video or on the Internet
  • all of these formats except Internet sources can be found by using resources made available
    by the library


Locating books in the library catalogue

  • to locate books do a keyword search in the library catalogue using AND to combine your
    subject with subheadings such as:

    • correspondence
    • diaries
    • personal narratives
    • interviews
    • sources
    • biography (for autobiographies)

Locating periodical or newspaper articles

  • to locate periodical or newspapers articles, including reviews, use an electronic periodical/newspaper
    database from the following list:

    • International Index to the Performing Arts : Indexes academic and popular performing arts (including dance, theatre and film) journals. Flexible searching enables limits by document type, e.g. reviews, essays, notation, or by broad subject categories. Includes many full-text articles. Coverage is from 1864 - present.

    • Humanities Index : Indexes more than 500 journals in the humanities. Topics include archaeology, fine art, classics, communications, dance, film, gender studies, history, journalism, linguistics, literary criticism, music, the performing arts, philosophy, and religion. Coverage is from 1984 - present.

    • Humanities International Index : Covers over 1000 journals published from 1975 to the present, including many smaller journals and publications unavailable in other reference sources. Provides cover-to-cover indexing and abstracting of on-going journal content, including coverage of all original creative works, such as poetry and fiction.

    • British Humanities Index : Indexes over 320 humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the UK and other English speaking countries, as well as several newspapers published in the UK .

    • Research Library : An interdisciplinary database covering a broad range of subjects including arts, business, children, education, general interest, health, humanities, international studies, law, military, multicultural studies, psychology, sciences, social sciences, and women's studies. Coverage: 1971 - present.

    • Expanded Academic : Provides access to the full-text of more than 3,500 periodicals including more than 2,000 scholarly journals. Citations (or abstracts) are provided for an additional 1,500 titles. Coverage of a wide variety of topics in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences makes it an excellent database for the initial stages of research.

    • CBCA Complete : A useful database for researching topics related to Canadian current affairs and public policy. Also useful to search for material on world issues seen from a Canadian perspective. Coverage is from 1982 - present.

    • Canadian Periodical Index : Includes Canadian and international academic journals, magazines, and newspapers in both English and French. All subjects are represented, with an emphasis on Canadian and international issues. Many articles are full text. Coverage is from 1988 - present.

    • Factiva : Includes nearly 9,000 sources from 118 countries in 22 languages. Provides same-day and archival coverage of key international newspapers including: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, Financial Times, Le Monde, The Times London, etc. Also includes news magazines such as Time and Newsweek.

    • Globe and Mail: Canada 's Heritage from 1844 : A searchable archive of The Globe and Mail, covering the years 1844-1999.

    • Toronto Star: Pages from the Past : A searchable archive of the Toronto Star, covering the years 1892-2001.

    • New York Times : A searchable archive of the new The New York Times, covering the years 1851-2003. Offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue.

    • Times Digital Archive : Indexing and full-text of The Times from 1785-1985

Other theatre related databases

  • to locate the full text of plays, playbills, production information, photographs and even video clips from performances use one of the electronic databases from the following list:

    • Black Drama : Contains approximately 1200 plays by 201 playwrights, together with detailed fielded information on related productions, theatres, production companies, and more. The database also includes selected playbills, production photographs and other ephemera related to the plays. Some of the 440 plays are published here for the first time, including a number by major authors.

    • Twentieth Century North American Drama : Contains over 300 plays by over 50 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more. The database also includes selected playbills, production photographs and other ephemera related to the plays.

    • North American Women's Drama : Contains over 700 plays by over 150 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies and more.

    • North American Theatre Online : North American Theatre Online covers Canadian and American Theatre. It includes some 40,000 pages of major reference materials, together with records to more than 30,000 plays, over 57,000 people, 5,400 theatres, nearly 22,000 productions and 2,500 production companies. The database also includes some 10,500 images, playbills, postcards, scrapbooks and other resources.

    • Theatre in Video : Contains more than 250 definitive performances of the world¿s leading plays, together with more than 100 film documentaries, online in streaming video - more than 500 hours in all. This release contains over 180 titles, representing hundreds of leading playwrights, actors and directors. For the first time, students, instructors and researchers can bookmark specific scenes, monologues and staging from landmark performances.

Locating video and audio recordings

  • Music: do a Keyword search in the library catalogue selecting the format 'Music'
  • Films & Videos: do a Keyword search in the library catalogue selecting the format 'Films, videos,
    DVDs, etc.' (See also the Theatre in Video database listed under
    Locating periodical or newspaper articles.)


Locating images

  • to locate images use one of the following electronic image databanks:

    • ARTstor : A rich digital library that offers coherent collections of art images and descriptive information as well as the software tools to enable active use of the collections. The ARTstor Library's content includes approximately 300,000 images covering art, architecture and archeology.

    • Camio : A growing online collection documenting works of art from around the world. Images, text and multimedia represent a broad range of works of art from the collections of prominent museums, highlighting the creative output of cultures around the world, from prehistoric to contemporary times, and covering the complete range of expressive forms.

Secondary Sources - What are they?

  • analyze or interpret primary sources, such as an historical event or artistic work
  • base their theories and arguments on the direct evidence found in primary sources

How to find secondary sources using library resources

  • usually take the form of published works such as:

    • books
    • journal, magazine or newspaper articles
    • dictionaries and encyclopedias
    • audio or video documentaries
  • all of these formats except Internet sources can be found by using resources made available by the library


Locating dictionaries and encyclopedias

  • to obtain factual or background information use one of the theatre related databases
    listed above or one of the following electronic dictionaries or encyclopedias:

    • Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre : Covers all aspects of theatre worldwide and throughout the ages. Contains entries on a vast range of theatrical styles, dramatists, performers, and directors, as well as information on theatres, festivals, and such technical topics as lighting, sound, and method acting.

    • Oxford Companion to American Theatre : Provides an up-to-date guide to the American stage from its beginnings to the present. The volume includes playwrights, plays, actors, directors, producers, songwriters, famous playhouses, dramatic movements, and much more. The book covers not only classic works but also many commercially successful plays, plus entries on foreign figures that have influenced dramatic development in the United States .

    • Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance : This encyclopedia provides authoritative and up-to-date information about theatre and performance from ancient Greek theatre to the latest developments in London, Paris, New York, and around the globe. In addition to performances in playhouses, it covers dance, opera, radio, film, television, and popular performance, including carnivals, circus, and public executions. Entries range from short definitions of terms to lengthy considerations of genres and movements, such as feminism and psychoanalytic criticism. Entries on cities and regions place performance in its local social and political context.

Locating books in the library catalogue

  • do a keyword search in the library catalogue using AND to link different concepts and OR to link related concepts
  • do a subject search using Library of Congress Subject Headings

Locating periodical or newspaper articles

  • use one of the electronic periodical or newspaper databases listed above
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