TDGR 289: Intro to Doctoral Studies: Article Databases

What's in article databases?

Primarily, bibliographic databases include citations to journal articles in a specific discipline. Some, but not all, also index individual chapters in scholarly monographs, the books as a whole, dissertations, selected websites, entries in selected reference books, and other content.

Most are searchable by keywords but also offer searching with a fixed thesaurus of subject headings, sometimes called descriptors. They can also be searched by the names of the document authors. Most allow for limitation by language, date of publication, specific journal, and other parameters. 

Bibliographies are, in a sense, databases, except that they are usually limited to a narrow topic. To discover bibliographies in Roger, enter any subject heading and look to see if there are any entries with the sub-heading "Bibliography." See, for example, the heading "Theater--United States--History--Bibliography."  

Some single-volume bibliographies that are available as ebooks are listed in the box below and in the page "Reference: Bibliographies on Theater History, Art and Technology."

Bibliographies (Ebooks)

Carpenter, Charles A. Dramatic Works of Samuel Beckett: A Selective Bibliography of Publications About His Plays and Their Conceptual Foundations. London: Continuum, 2011.  Most of the articles, books, and other docuemnts cited are literary or dramaturgical critiques of Beckett's theater pieces, but articles on performance history, audience reception, etc. are also included. 


Article Databases in Performance Studies

Each UC campus has an alphabetical list of its major databases. At UCSD access through the  Databases A-Z Link from the   Research Tools tab near the top of the Library’s home page. At UCI, from the Libraries'   home page, click on the Collections Tab and then the Databases A-Z link.

Listed somewhat in order of importance to theater, dance, and performance studies.


* International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance (IBTD). 1982-present.  Originally created by the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR). Available online on both campuses.         

* International Index to the Performing Arts Full-Text (IIPA-FT) , 1864-present. An index to over 230 journals and magazines (over 500,000 articles) in the fields of dance, drama, film, theater, opera, puppetry, circus, and other forms of performance art. Contains full texts of about 50% of the articles cited. Available online on both campuses.

* MLA International Bibliography. New York: Modern Language Assn., 1921-present.  Covers primarily dramatic criticism and theory, although scholarly articles (NOT book or performance reviews) about some aspects of theater history and theory, and to some extent performance studies/theory, are included. Available on both campuses. To view several short videos on searching MLAIB effectively, click here.

* World Shakespeare Bibliography. Specialized, but more comprehensive for Shakespeare and some other Early Modern drama topics than MLA. Includes contemporary production reviews as well as scholarly articles and books. Available on both campuses. 

* Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI) is the leading source of abstracts and bibliographic records for articles, news items, and reviews published in design and applied arts periodicals from 1973 onwards. Available on both campuses.

Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature. Bronx, N.Y.: H.W. Wilson Co., 1901-present. Citations to reviews of plays are given under the name of the playwright, but there is a list of them all together under the heading “Theatre Reviews—Single Works.”  AI 3 .R4 SSH Reference. For access to the years 1890-1982 use:  * Reader’s Guide Retrospective. Available online on both campuses.

New York Public Library. The collections of the Performing Arts Research Library at Lincoln Center comprise one of the greatest resources for the study of theater, dance, music, and related fields in the world. As such, NYPL's catalog should be considered an essential discovery tool for both unique and more common materials in the performing arts. For many years, NYPL did its own indexing of magazines and journals, and some of these references predate the databases described above. In addition to manuscript archives, it also has extensive clippings files. To limit your search to the performing arts, change the "Entire Collection" drop-down menu to "Performing Arts" or "Dance Research Collection," both near the bottom of the list.  

FIAF: International Index to Film Periodicals. 1972-present. Includes comprehensive coverage of television periodicals 1972-2000, and coverage of tv in film periodicals since that date. Also several other more specialized databases on film research. 

Film and Television Literature Index. 1987-present; limited 1970-86. Covers writing about film and television for scholars, students and the general public. Subjects include film & television theory, preservation & restoration, writing, production, cinematography, technical aspects, reviews.

* ARTbibliographes Modern. 1974-present. Abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, PhD dissertations, and exhibition reviews on all forms of modern and contemporary art. Available only at UCSD, although similar resources may be at UCI.

    Web of Science. 1975-present. Despite the title, Web of Science is interdisciplinary, although it is still strongest in the sciences. WoS provides author, keyword, and cited reference searching from more than 1100 leading arts and humanities journals, including many from theater, dance, and performance studies. It does NOT index monographs or collections of essays, so cannot be substituted for databases that do include them.

*Humanities Search Complete. A multidisciplinary database of humanities journal content, indexing over 2100 journals and providing full text for about 900 of them.   

Communication Abstracts. See description in box to the right. Contains citations to some theater literature from the era when theater study was often housed within speech or communication departments, and thus its journals were indexed with them, too. 

* Periodicals Index Online. Index to 16 million articles from 4,700 North American and European scholarly journals in arts, humanities, social sciences. Approximately 10 percent of articles listed also include page images from Periodicals Archive Online. 1665-1995.   Available on both campuses.