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Theatre and Dance: Obtaining Background Material

A research guide to finding books, articles, and other resources in Theatre and Dance

Using Reference Books

Use Reference books to:

♦  Obtain background material to help familiarize yourself with your topic

♦  Locate definitions of terms and concepts

♦  Find bibliographies suggesting additional resources on your topic


Reference books are on the first floor of Simpson Library

Don't forget!  If you need assistance, stop at the Information Desk (located to the right as you enter Simpson Library's front door).

Citing Your Sources

While writing research papers, you may need to:

  List your sources in bibliographies or works cited, and

♦  Provide either footnotes or endnotes.

Here is a link to the UMW Libraries' Guide to Citing Resources.

Navigation Menu

When looking for background information related to any of the following topics, either click on these links or scroll down for reference books found on the first floor of Simpson Library:


Scenic Design

Costume Design and Fashion

Lighting and Sound



Play Reviews and Criticism


Biographical Dictionary of Dance
REFB GV 1785 .A1 C58 1982

International Dictionary of Ballet
REFB GV 1585 .I57 1983

International Encyclopedia of Dance
REFB GV 1585 .I586 1998

The Oxford Dictionary of Dance
REFB GV 1585 .C78 2000

Scenic Design

A Complete Dictionary of Furniture
REFB NK 2205 .G54 1991

A Dictionary of Architecture and Building
REFB NA 31 .S84 1904

Encyclopedia of Interior Design
REFB NK 1165 E.48 1997

Furniture: World Styles for Classical to Contemporary
REFB NK 2235 .M54 2005

Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture
REFB NA 31 .H56 1983

An Illustrated Dictionary of Ornament
REFB NK 1165 .S72 1975

Costume Design and Fashion

The Berg Companion to Fashion
REFB GT 511 .B47 2010

The Chronicle of Western Fashion
REFB GT 511 .P42 1991

Clothing Through American History: 1900 to the Present
REFB GT 615 .G74 2008

The Complete Costume Dictionary
REFB GT 507 .L49

The Complete Fashion Sourcebook
REFB GT 596 .P393 2005

Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion
REFB GT 507 .E53 2005

Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion
REFB GT 507 .E54 2010

The Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion
REFB TT 503 .C34 2003

Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, & Footwear Through the Ages
REFB GT 511 .P46 2004

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing Through American History: 1900 to the Present
REFB GT 615 .G74 2008

The Guide to Historic Costume
REFB TT 503 .B33 1995

An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry
REFB NK 7304 .N43 1981

Illustrated Encyclopedia of World Costume
REFB GT 507 .Y37 2011

World Clothing and Fashion:  An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Social Influence
REFB GT 507 .S6 2013

Lighting and Sound

The Lighting Art
PN 2091 .E4 P35 1994

Projection for the Performing Arts
PN 2091 .S8 P76 1995

Sound and Music for the Theater
PN 2091.S6 K3 2000

Theatre Sound
TK 7881.4 L5425 2001


    Fashions in Hair: The First Five Thousand Years
    GT 2290 .C6 1971b

    Fashions in Makeup: From Ancient to Modern Times
    GT 2340 .C67 2003

    History of Beauty
    BH 81 .H57 2004


    American Women Playwrights, 1964-1989
    REFB PS 338 .W6 G38

    An Annotated Dictionary of Technical, Historical, and Stylistic Terms
    REFB PN 2035 .W48 1995

    Black American Playwrights, 1800 to the Present
    REFB PS 153 .N5 A7

    Critical Survey of Drama
    REFB PN 1625 .C68 2003

    The Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre
    REFB ML 102 .M88 G3

    The Female Dramatist
    REFB PN 471 .P37 1998

    The McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama
    REFB PN 1625 .M3 1984

    Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance
    REFB PN 2035 .O94 2003

    Play Index
    REFB PN 1655 .P57x

    Show Tunes
    REFB ML 128 .M78 S86 2000

    Songs of the Theatre
    REFB ML 128 .S3 L55 1984

    Twentieth Century American Drama
    REFB PS 350 .T93 2006

    Vaudeville Old and New
    REFB PN 1968 .U5 C85 2007

    The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre
    REFB PN 1861 .W67 1994

    Play Reviews and Criticism

    See "Drama Criticism" section in Literary Criticism Research Guide.