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THEA 4330: Contemporary Canadian Theatre   Tags: c:all, c:fa/thea4330  

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Undergraduate Library Guide

     General information about the libraries for students.

Description of Theatre Collections

  • materials being collected can be divided into four major categories: theatre studies (history, theatre criticism), performance-related (acting, directing, enunciation, dialects, lighting, stage management, set design), performance resource materials (illustrations of costume, interiors, furnishings) and arts policy/arts administration
  • the libraries acquire virtually every new English-language publication relating to theatre and for French Canada, virtually every French language publication
  • library periodical collections are basic; they include theoretical and historical titles, periodicals produced by theatre and actors' associations
  • drama and dramatic criticism is also collected comprehensively
  • locating Canadian information is always a little more difficult; need to rely on periodicals and newspapers to a greater extent

How to Access Theatre Collections

Online Library Catalogue

  • lists materials available in all five main libraries (Scott, Steacie, Peter F. Bronfman, Law, Frost) as well as specialized libraries within the libraries (i.e. Archives and Special Collections, Sound and Moving Image Library)
  • from Library Homepage under Catalogue select different ways to search library catalogue: author/title/subject, keyword, call number
  • subject: formal, standardized i.e. Canadian drama
    Dramatists, Canadian
    Theater Canada ( note: spelling of theater)
  • keyword: flexible i.e. experimental and theater and canada
  • materials relating to theatre available in a variety of formats i.e. books, periodicals, films/videos, microform sets, government documents
  • materials relating to theatre housed in different locations: stacks (books, periodicals and government documents), Reference section (dictionaries and encyclopedias), Archives and Special Collections (papers, theatre programmes), SMIL (films/videos/DVDs), Microtext (newspapers, Performing Arts Files from the Metropolitan Toronto Library), Bronfman (business), Frost (many duplicates of Scott titles as well as unique French language material)

  • wealth of resources relating to theatre located in the Reference section such as:

    Dictionaries (of theatre terms)

    Encyclopedias ( The Oxford Companion to Canadian Theatre, World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre)

    Directories ( The Theatre Listing)

    Style manuals

    Periodical Indexes
  • Reference Desk staff can provide assistance in locating information (in person, telephone, e-mail or virtual/chat)

Electronic Resources

Periodical Indexes and Periodicals

  • published on a continuing basis (as opposed to monographs); there are different kinds of periodicals (i.e. scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, annuals)
  • need to be able to distinguish between different kinds of periodicals (i.e. journals - scholarly, magazines and newspapers - popular)
  • good source of scholarly research: use them also because of currency, specificity, availability (non-circulating)
  • to effectively locate articles in periodicals need to use a periodical index/database or bibliography
  • periodical indexes available in a variety of formats: electronic, paper
  • allow you to search periodical literature by subject and by author; electronic versions allow you to search many years simultaneously using keyword combinations and print/download results
  • usually subject specific; however, unlike for many other disciplines no database devoted solely to theatre; need to use more general databases
  • from Library Homepage under eResources select Search by Title if index is known (or use eResources Quick Search box) or select Find articles by subject (if index is unknown)
  • some useful/relevant databases for theatre

International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text

  • contains all of the content available in International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance as well as full text for 100 titles, including Canadian Theatre Review, Dance Chronicle, Dance Teacher, Modern Drama, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, Research in Dance Education, Research in Drama Education, Studies in Theatre and Performance, TDR: The Drama Review, Theater, and many more.

International Index to the Performing Arts

  • available only full-text electronically from 1864+
  • covers arts and entertainment industry including drama, theater, stagecraft, musical theatre, puppetry
  • news, general magazine and scholarly journal coverage

CBCA Complete

  • available in paper from 1993+
  • available electronically from 1982+; fulltext from 1999+
  • business, news, general magazine and scholarly journal coverage
  • articles, news items, editorials, reviews
  • use for Canadian topics

Canadian Periodical Index

  • available in paper from 1920+
  • available full-text electronically from 1988+
  • news, general magazine and scholarly journal coverage (includes full-text for the Globe and Mail from 1997)
  • use for Canadian topics

Expanded Academic ASAP

  • fulltext, multidisciplinary
  • news, general magazine and scholarly journal coverage


  • a single search screen that provides access to multiple databases for searching literature in a number of disciplines including Theater

MLA Bibliography

  • available in paper from 1921+; electronically from 1963+
  • covers literature, language, linguistics and folklore
  • scholarly journal coverage
  • use for dramatic criticism


Newspaper Indexes


  • 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, The Toronto Star, Financial Times, Le Monde, The Times London, etc.
  • includes news magazines such as Time and Newsweek

Globe and Mail: Canada's Heritage from 1844

  • an electronic newspaper archive of the Globe and Mail, covering the years 1844-2000
  • coverage includes all the stories, images, advertisements, etc.
  • results are displayed as images (photographs) of an entire newspaper page

Globe and Mail

  • coverage May 29, 1999 - current

Toronto Star : Pages from the Past

  • an electronic newspaper archive of The Toronto Star, covering the years 1892-2000
  • includes stories, editorial and opinion pieces, advertisements, etc.
  • results are displayed as images (photographs) of an entire newspaper page

Toronto Star

  • coverage May 23, 1985 - current

Canadian Newsstand - Major Dailies

  • provides the full text of English and French Canadian newspapers

The New York Times

  • coverage is from1851-2007
  • 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

Dissertation Indexes

Proquest Dissertations and Theses

  • Searchable database of U.S. and Canadian dissertations with full-text available from 1997 onwards.

Primary Sources

Twentieth Century North American Drama

  • contains over 300 plays by over 50 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, productions companies, and more
  • 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

  • a comprehensive reference work covering all aspects of the Canadian and American Theatre
  • 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

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

The 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

  • standard one-volume source on American theatre

The 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.


  • a bilingual performing arts educational website produced by
    Canada's National Arts Centre
  • features information and resources on Music, English Theatre,
    French Theatre and Dance

Canadian Archival Information Network

  • search archives found in over 800 repositories across Canada

Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia

  • information about Canadian actors, playwrights, directors, producers, designers, theatre organizations and institutions, composers and plays

The Canadian Theatre Record (Toronto Public Library)

  • Canadian Theatre Record databases provide details and visual references for specific Canadian theatre productions

L. W. Conolly Theatre Archives

  • access to the holdings of the rich collections housed at the University of Guelph; the University of Guelph theater archives consist of over one hundred collections, most of them of Canadian theaters and Canadian theater artists. The Guelph archives comprise easily the largest collection of Canadian theater materials anywhere.

Playwrights Guild of Canada

  • website of the national association of professional and emerging playwrights; searchable database of plays

Professional Association of Canadian Theatres

  • a member-driven organization that serves as the collective voice of professional Canadian theatres.
  • provides leadership, national representation and a variety of programs and practical assistance to member companies, enabling members to do their own creative work

Theatre Canada

  • a comprehensive directory of theatres all across the country, study resources and a special listing for children's theatre and activities related to the performing arts

Other Libraries

Resource Sharing Department makes available material not held by the library from other libraries

  • no cost to borrowers for books and microforms obtained on loan
  • photocopies of articles not held may be obtained; undergraduate students receive 25 free articles
    per year after which there is a $5.00 flat rate for each article
  • requests can be made in person or electronically
  • reciprocal borrowing available at the undergraduate level at all university libraries except U of T
  • RACER ( R apid A ccess to C ollections by E lectronic R equesting)

Robarts Library at U of T holds significant collections for theatre

Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library is home to the finest collections for Canadian theatre bringing together books, plays, programmes, newspaper clippings, photographs, publicity, and sketches for costume sets

  • access to catalogues for other libraries available through the Library Homepage (under Catalogue select Other library catalogues

Creating Bibliographies

Zotero, a citation management software allows you to store and manage references/citations in a personal database. You can import citations from the library catalogue and library databases into Zotero and create and format your bibliographies in a variety of citation styles. To access Zotero, select Citing your Work from the libraries' homepage and click on the Zotero tab.



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