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UNV 100: Let's Go Arts

Janet Haley

Databases to Search

Start you search with the Performing Arts Periodical Database (PAPD). It's a great collection of magazines, newsletters, and journals related to dance, film, music, and theatre.

If you can't find an interview or enough information about your artist with the Performing Arts Periodical Database (PAPD), try one of the ones listed below. If you chose an artist who paints or sculpts or works in another "fine" art, try

If the smaller targeted databases are not yielding good results, try our current search tool, PrimoVE. It powers the library's homepage search box and searches over most of our databases and will bring back thousand if not millions of results. It can be a little overwhelming so choosing good search terms and using the filters on the side menu will help narrow your results.

Search Tips

Library Databases

Hopefully you will find a lot of sources through the library databases, but too many sources can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you narrow or focus your results.

  • Use "interview" as a search term to find articles of the artist talking about themselves.
  • If an artist has multiple words in their name, try putting quotation marks around them all to search for the phrase instead of individual words, e.g. "Joe Pug"
  • If the artist has a common name, add their occupation to your search, e.g. "Joe Jackson" singer.
  • You will probably find a lot of very short articles, 200 words or less. Pay attention to the word count on the results list to find sources with longer words counts and more information.
  • If the full text of the article isn't available in this database, look for a "Find full text" link in the article's result to link to the full text in another database.


Many of you have been told that citing Wikipedia is a bad idea for the most part, and Wikipedia agrees. That being said, the things that make Wikipedia less than reliable (mainly that it's crowdsourced knowledge) can be beneficial if your artist is up and coming or hasn't really made into mainstream media.

One tip to checking the facts you find on Wikipedia is to look at the Reference section of each page.

Artist Website

Another great place to find information about your (living) artist's life or examples of their work is on their own website (or social media)! Try a quick web search and see if they have a dedicated website.

MLA Citations

The Modern Language Association (MLA) has a citation style that you will need to use in many of your English and arts classes. The library databases often have tools to help you cite according to a specific style like MLA, but it is always a good idea to check the citation a database give you against the official manual or website. 

Below are some links to the MLA Style Center to help you check your citations.

Citing your work correctly comes in two parts:

  • the works cited list, which is an alphabetical list of all of the sources you used in your paper, and
  • the in-text or parenthetical citation, which should follow any direct quotation or paraphrase in the text of your paper.

In MLA in-text uses the author or creator's name and typically, for written sources, the page number where the original passage was, e.g., (Smith, 3). To find article pages numbers try downloading the full text as a PDF.