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Theatre 240: Music and the Theatre

Stephanie Dean, Winter 2024

Where to Start and Guide Navigation

This guide is intended to help MUS / THE 240 students with their "musical history timeline" project. Your professor has worked with a librarian to find some initial sources of information to help you with this project, though you may need to do some searching on your own.

On this first page you will find some search tips and tutorials on searching in the library databases. Some are more general and some are more specific to this project.

The History Sources tab contains mostly links to full text ebooks and records of physical books in the library's collection, however there will be some links to other credible sources outside of the library. For this project, books will often have the most comprehensive information about a particular show or performer, though you don't have to read or cite the entire book. Use the table of contents or the index of a book to find the chapters or sections that are most relevant.

The News Sources tab has links to some newspapers and magazines that often feature reviews of Broadway musicals. These sources can be useful for finding information about how a show was received during the time is was running.

The MLA Citation Help tab has links with information to help students with their MLA citations as well as a webinar recording that goes into detail about how to construct an MLA citation.

Search Tips

Here are some tips to help you find sources through the library's databases.

  • "Re-search" means to search again, so you may have to do several searches to find related sources.
  • If your show has multiple words in the title, put quotation marks around them, so that you search for that phrase rather than anytime the words appear in the full text of an article or abstract, e.g. "In the Heights" instead of In the Heights.
  • If your show's title is a very common words, like "waitress," add a search term like "musical" will help weed out results that are not about the show.
  • Search for the director, choreographer, actors and other creators to find information about their careers beyond the show.
  • Combine the show's title with creator's names to find relevant sources.
  • Filter by date range to around the time when the show or revival premiered to find article and reviews that are contemporary.
  • Search in publication geared toward specific minority groups, e.g. Ebony or The Village Voice, to see if points of view regarding the shows. Use Journal Search to see what access we have to specific publications, though some are accessed through the Performing Arts Periodicals Database.

The library's Research Process Guide is a great source for additional help when searching for developing topics, searching for sources of information, and integrating those sources into your own work.

Video Tutorials

The library's YouTube channel has many tutorials and recorded webinars including topic like search strategies and MLA citation. A few are embedded below.