TDGR 289: Intro to Doctoral Studies: Audio, Video & Images

Digital Image Collections

     For hints on finding images within printed books, see the box. below.

     The largest image collection available at UCSD and UCI Libraries is ARTStor, a nonprofit resource that provides more than one million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with an accessible suite of software tools for research and teaching. Click here for a detailed description of its resources for theater and dance and here for a video on managing your profile. 

Other significant archives of images useful for performance historians and theater artists include:

  • American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920. From the Library of Congress.
  • AP Images.  With millions of images dating back more than 150 years, this is one of the world's largest archives of historical & current imagery. Updated every minute. Includes news, entertainment, arts, business, and sports coverage from AP and selected partners. Available on both campuses.
  • Broadway Photographs: Art Photography and the American Stage, 1900-1930.
  • Broadway Productions: Photographs from the City Museum of New York. Ultimately, this digitization project will include over 30,000 photographs from over 5000 Broadway productions. 
  • Carthalia: Theatres on Postcoards. Images of theater buildings from around the world.
  • The Costume Gallery. With millions of images dating back more than 150 years, this is one of the world's largest archives of historical & current imagery. Updated every minute. Includes news, entertainment, arts, business, and sports coverage from AP and selected partners.
  • Fashion Plate Collection. From the University of Illinois Libraries. 
  • Footlight Notes. Photos, posters, biographical sketches, reviews, some audio clips, and other ephemera from theater, revue, vaudeville, variety, opera, ballet, circus, musical comedy, and other forms of popular entertainment from roughly 1850s to 1920s.  
  • Getty Institute Open Content Archive. As of April 2014, this site has more than 87,000 images that may be reproduced without permission.
  • The Golden Age of British Theatre, 1880-1920. Photographs and biographical sketches of performers.
  • L. W. Connolly Theatre Archives, University of Guelph.
  • GloPAD (Global Performing Arts Database).  Images with detailed descriptions of theatrical objects (posters, costumes, designs, complex media objects, video and audio clips) related to the performing arts around the world, plus information about related pieces, productions, performers, and creators.
  • Harvard Theatre Collection. Select "Harvard Theatre Collection" from the "Limit Repository to" drop-down menu. 
  • Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. Enormous collection of images in all subjects, primarily from the U.S. of A., including images from the Federal Theatre Project. 
  • New York Public Library Digital Collections. Provides free and open online access to hundreds of thousands of digital images from NYPL collections, including costume and set designs, illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, rare prints and photographs, and more. Two sub-sets devoted to theater are: 
  • 19th Century Actors and Theaters Phograph. From the University of Washington Library's Digital Collections.  
  • Picture History. Select the Arts & Entertainment category. You will be able to see thumbnail sketches, but must register to view full-size images and/or download them.
  • J. Willis Sayre Photograph Collection. This archive at the University of Washington Libraries of over 24,000 photographs is primarily devoted to the performing arts in the U.S. between the late 19th century and the 1950s.
  • Stage Beauty. A gallery of photographs of actresses from the Golden Age (ca. 1870-1920s) of the British theater, along with images of some theaters and productions in which they appeared.
  • Theatre Image Collections Online. Links to even more collections of images, many of them specific to a single theater or topic.
  • V&A Fashion. Thousands of images relating to fashion and accessories from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, one of the world's great museums devoted to art and design.


Streaming Video

     The UC San Diego Library is providing a two-year trial for access to over 26,000 videos available through Kanopy effective April 2015. The videos come from leading producers such as the BBC, California Newsreel, Criterion Collection, First Run Features, Kino Lorber and PBS, with more content added each month. Many of the films are from independent and specialty producers, with a focus on documentary films.

     In addition, the UCSD Library has several collections of streaming video from the publisher Alexander Street Press:

  • 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.  Available on both campuses. 
  • Dance in Video will contain 250 dance productions and documentaries by the most influential performers and companies of the 20th century. The current release includes 600 works, equaling 365 hours. Available on both campuses. 
  • Opera in Video will contain five hundred hours of the most important opera performances, captured on video through staged productions, interviews, and documentaries. Selections represent the world’s best performers, conductors, and opera houses and are based on a work’s importance to the operatic canon. The current release includes 290 works, equaling 500 hours. The collection is particularly useful for costume, set, and lighting designers.Available on both campuses. 
  • American History in Video includes hundreds of early moving images, newsreels, and documentaries. Although they do not include dramatic performances, many of them document theater buildings, movie palaces, marquees, audiences, film premieres, the Times Square district of New York,  advertisements, and other glimpses of performance in America since the earliest moving images, as well as offering excellent primary material illustrating American life that may be useful to directors, designers, and actors. Not available at UCI.
  • World History in Video includes over 900 documentaries about human history from the earliest civilizations to the late twentieth century, including Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania. Not availale at UCI.

Other DVDs and Videos

Jerome Robbins Dance Division (of New York Public Library for the Performing Arts) Audio and Moving Image Archive.

The UCLA Film and Television Archive.  The largest collection of media-related material of any university in the world, and second only in size to the Library of Congress.

To search for videos and DVDs owned by the UCSD Library without getting results for printed books and journals, click on the scope "Films & Videos" above the search box in Roger before entering keywords ("Othello"), personal names ("Brecht, Bertolt," "Streep, Meryl"), corporate names ("Wooster Group"), etc.

For information about the Film & Video Library's collections and scope policy, click here.