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Theatre: Academic Databases (and other places to search)

What is a database?

  • Databases are collections of publications such as journals and conference proceedings. They enable us to search across a wide range of up to date  journal articles
  • Most databases contain a mixture of full-text and bibliographic items, you can limit your search so that you only retrieve items that you have full access to. Where we do not provide access to an article you can request it from our  Inter Library Loans Service.
  • Some key databases as well as other information sources providing access to theory and research in Theatre Arts are listed below.


Proquest Newsstand


Newspapers are a useful source of reviews and articles of current interest. The Proquest Newsstand database provides access to a large range of newspaper articles which are all available in full text. The list of newspapers covered can be found under ‘Publications’.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Instead of doing a general Google search which searches the whole of the internet Google Scholar searches only scholarly literature. Therefore it is likely to be better quality. You can set up Google Scholar so that it identifies any search results which you have full-text access to as a Middlesex student. Instructions on how to do this are provided in the link below.

Performing Arts Databases

The International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance provides access to over 60,000 journal articles, books, book articles and dissertation abstracts on all aspects of theatre and performance including over 140 full-text journals.

The Performing Arts Periodicals Database contains over half a million articles covering a broad range of Performing Arts subject areas including:

  • theatre arts
  • drama
  • stagecraft
  • storytelling
  • comedy
  • puppetry
  • opera
  • musical theatre
  • dance
  • film and television.

For more information about this database and how to get the most out of it see the Proquest guide.

Other relevant databases

As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works Taylor & Francis online content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Science and Technology.

Key Theatre Arts journals in this database include:

  • Research in Drama Education (RiDe) 1997 - present
  • Performance Research (2006 - present)
  • International Journal of Cultural Policy (01/10/1997- present)
  • Women and Performance  (01/03/1983 - 31/01/1996) For more recent issues see IBTD.


The JSTOR Arts and Sciences III collection provides electronic access to the archives of 150 journals in a range of Arts and Humanities subjects, including language and literature, music, film studies, folklore, performing arts, religion and the history and study of art and architecture. JSTOR coverage is usually from the first issue of each journal up to a 'moving wall' about five years before the present date.  All articles are available in full text.


Key Theatre Arts journals include:

  • Performing Arts Journal (01/04/1976 - 30/09/1997)
  • The Drama Review (TDR) (01/10/1967 - 31/01/1968 and 01/04/1968 - 31/12/1987)


Literature Online

Literature Online (LION) is an online library of over 350.000 works of English and American poetry, prose and drama. It also contains 344 full-text literature journals and other key criticism and reference resources.

Key Theatre Arts journals include:

  • Comparative Drama
  • Shakespeare Quarterly
  • Theatre Notebook 
  • Theatre Research International