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*Theatre: Start Your Research

Why Use Encyclopedias?

Background sources like encyclopedias can provide context for your topic, or even help you choose one. They are great places to start because:

  • they explain topics in simpler language than scholarly articles
  • they are much shorter (often just a just a page or two, instead of the 20 pages or more found in a scholarly article or the hundreds of pages found in a book)
  • they highlight important issues, figures, dates, and/or events that you may want to focus on in your paper or project
  • they give you suggested sources for further research in the form of bibliographies or works cited

Online Encyclopedias

The following are recommended encyclopedias in your field. You can read them online 24/7.

Print Encyclopedias

Hutchins Library also has a large collection of print encyclopedias that you can access in person in the Reference area on the main floor.

New Grove Dictionary of Opera
Call Number: REF 782.103 N547 1992
International Dictionary of Theatre
Call Number: REF 792.03 I61
International Encyclopedia of Dance
Call Number: REF 792.6203 I61
Notable Women in the American Theatre
Call Number: REF 792.082 N89
Oxford Companion to the Theatre
Call Number: REF 792.03 O98
Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance
Call Number: REF 792.03 O982
World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre
Call Number: REF 792.03 W927
Historical Dictionary of African American Theater
Call Number: REF 792.089 H6445h 2009 no. 31
Oxford Companion to American Theatre
Call Number: REF 792.097 B729o 2004
Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama
Call Number: REF 809.2 C726 2007