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Research Guides

Drama, Theatre, & Performance Studies

Finding books of criticism

Start at the library homepage

  • Select the "Catalogue" tab
  • Enter the name of a playwright and/or the title of a play
  • Note: Place quotation marks around the title to search the words together as a phrase, e.g. "Major Barbara"

  • You can refine your search resuts using the options on the left
  • Scroll down to "Subject" & select "History and Criticism" or "Criticism and Interpretation" 

Where to search? The "Articles" tab vs. subject-specific article databases

Articles tab on the library homepage


  • a gigantic database of full-text journal articles, called "Summon"
  • easy to use
  • the best place to find a specific article (where you already know the article title)
  • covers all disciplines, which is good if your topic is interdisciplinary
  • searches within the entire text of each article, which is good for finding every mention of an obscure topic


  • searches within the entire text of each article, so you often get irrelevant articles, where your topic is only briefly mentioned
  • covers all discplines, so you may get irrelevant results from other disciplines

Subject-specific article databases (like IIPA, for performing arts, or MLA, for literature)


  • Search results are usually relevant
  • Special search features that are helpful for a particular discipline (such as a check box to limit to theatre reviews)
  • Indexed by human beings using a thesaurus of controlled vocabulary that is helpful for a particular discipline


  • Sometimes too few search results
  • Sometimes harder to search
  • Sometimes harder to retrieve the articles:
    • Click on  
    • If there are no links to your article, try searching for the journal title in the library catalogue
    • If the journal is not there, you can try ordering the article through interlibrary loan