Theatre 339: How to Search

Introduction to Dramaturgy
Amy Holzapfel
Fall 2021

Research Tip: Searching Newspapers

Searching Full-text Newspapers

  • Think like a journalist. What words would they use?
  • Use the vocabulary in use at the time. (e.g., Negroes instead of African American)
  • Combine synonyms with OR to increase results. (e.g., conservatives OR right-wing)
  • Use the asterisk (*) to get multiple endings of a word. (e.g., integrat* for integrate, integration, integrating, etc.)
  • To get words closer together, use proximity operators. (See the database's help page for correct syntax.)
  • Limit your search to "abstract" or "citation and abstract" (if available) to get more precise results.

Production Histories: Subject Headings

Library of Congress subject headings are a useful way to find reviews and other production information. In addition to basic keyword searching, try using the Advanced Search (under the search bar on the Libraries homepage) to search by subject: change the "Any Field" dropdown menu to "Subject," and try using the playwright's information to find relevant resources, by searching using some of these terms:

[Lastname, Firstname, Dates] -- Stage history.
Example: Miller, Arthur, 1915-2005 -- Stage history

[Lastname, Firstname, Dates] -- Appreciation.
Example: Miller, Arthur, 1915-2005 -- Appreciation

[Lastname, Firstname, Dates]. Name of show.
Example: Rodgers, Richard, 1902-1979. Oklahoma!

[Lastname, Firstname, Dates] -- Dramatic production.
Example: Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983 -- Dramatic production

[Lastname, Firstname, Dates] -- Stage production.
Example: Bernstein, Leonard, 1918-1990 -- Stage production

Credit: Harvard University, Introduction to Dramaturgy: Production History research guide

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