How to do research in Theater and Dance

Library resources for researchers working on Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies


Topic-specific keywords will help improve your results in a general multidisciplinary database like Google, Google Scholar, HOLLIS, or Academic Search Premier

Use keywords like these in your search:

  • gender AND performance AND China
  • “Lynn Nottage” AND criticism
  • “devised theater”


The best tool for your project may be a specialized search engine, also known as a database. These databases are subject-specific or format-specific search tools:

International Bibliography of Theater and Dance (via HarvardKey) – An indispensable resource, with over 60,000 journal articles, books, book articles and dissertation abstracts on all aspects of theater and performance in 126 countries.

Streaming Video at Harvard (via HarvardKey) – the “Performing Arts” tab lists almost 20 collections of dance, theater, and music videos.

Dig Deeper

Theater, Dance and Media at Harvard: This research guide gives tips on research methods as well as links to databases for primary and secondary sources.

Databases for Theater and Dance- explore the full list of Harvard Library databases in this subject category. 


Steve Kuehler, the library liaison to Theater, Dance, and Media, is available to support researchers via email or in-person consultation.

Service Alert:
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