Reference books can include almanacs, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, and statistical source books, just to name a few! They can be very helpful when you are doing your research.
Please note that reference books cannot be checked out. However, you can access a variety of reference books online at CREDO reference. See the databases tab under "GALILEO" for more information on CREDO Reference and the other databases available to you through GALILEO and Georgia Highlands College!
Written by Gerald Bordman. Covers the history of American musical theatre from 1767 until 2000. Entries are broken into chapters covering a range of years. Chapters summarize the developments and general artistic trends of each season, and highlight major productions and the activities of individual performers. Bordman also includes indexes for: shows and sources; songs; and people.
Below is a list of some of the reference books that you might want to use for your theater-related research! Don't forget that you can also access reference books online from Credo Reference!
Two-volume set. Entries written by 60+ scholars, researchers, and practitioners in the fields of theater and popular culture. Entries are arranged alphabetically. From the introduction, "... the entries provide basic and detailed information on key people, productions, and organizations that have shaped the character of Broadway and defined its place in American culture since the nineteenth century." The encyclopedia also includes an extensive bibliography of books and web sites, a glossary of selected historical theater terms and references, and a historical timeline.
Eight-volume set. Contains 602 essays, 538 of which discuss individual dramatists and 64 of which cover broad topics. Featured dramatists span ancient to modern times and encompass many nationalities (although the majority included are of North American origin). Each entry on the dramatists includes birth and death dates and places, gives a condensed biographical sketch, lists each dramatist's major dramatic works and principal works in other genres, includes a summary of the writer's professional achievements and awards, and provides an annotated bibliography of cirtical works about the dramatist. Volume eight includes the 64 overview essays. The overview essays are arranged under broad headings and cover dramatic traditions within the United States, the British Isles, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and other parts of the world, and also discuss various genres and techniques. Each entry lists its author and includes a bibliography. Volume eight also includes a list of major dramatic awards, a time line of world drama history, and an annotated bibliography.
From the introduction, "...covers the first 25 years of cinema's international emergence, approximately from the early 1890s to the mid-1910s." Includes "articles on the technological and industrial developments, the techniques of film production, the actors and filmmakers of the time, and on the changing modes of representation and narration, as well the social and cultural contexts within which early films circulated, inlcuding topics such as distribution, as exhibition, and audiences." Brief and full entries discuss key issues, people, practices, and phenomena of early cinema. All entries are written by internationally recognized specialists and are arranged alphabetically. Entries include recommendations for further reading.
The Encyclopedia of Television includes over 1150 entries by 300 contributors. Entries are arranged alphabetically and examine specific programs and people, historic moments and trends, major policy disputes and various topics and techniques, such as violence, tabloid television, colorization, etc. The encyclopedia also includes histories of major television networks as well as broadcasting systems around the world and is complemented by resource materials, photos and bibliographical information. The second edition offers expanded international coverage and updates many of the entries from the first edition.
Notable Playwrights includes biographical sketches and critical studies of 106 playwrights from antiquity to the present day. Each of the essays included in Notable Playwrights first appeared in Salem's Critical Survey of Drama, Revised Edition (2003). Essay contributors are listed in a byline at the end of each essay. The playwrights included in Notable Playwrights are those most studied in high school and undergraduate literature and drama courses. Entries are arranged alphabetically by the playwrights' names. Individual essays and are broken into the following parts: principal drama (principal plays before 2003); other literary forms (lists works in other genres); achievements (lists honors and awards); biography (condensed biographical sketch and vital information from birth to writer's last activities); analysis (provides an overview of the writer's development); other major works (lists other major works in nondramatic genres); and bibliography (lists published secondary sources appropriate for students). Volume three also contains a glossary of dramatic terms and movements, a time line listing playwrights by their birthdates, and a general subject index.
Contains material on plays and musicals, authors, composers, actors, directors, choreographers, producers, designers, theatre companies, and theatre movements. Also includes foreign plays which have had long careers on American stages or which have influenced American theatre significantly.
Includes brief entries on 1,000 most signficant plays in world theater. Entries are arranged alphabetically by title and contain: alternative titles and variant translations; author(s); date of writing; date and place of first performance; date of first publication; date of first published translation into English; genre and number of acts; setting and time of action; composition of cast; brief synopsis; brief commentary. The Oxford Dictionary of Plays also includes two indexes, an index of major characters and an index of all playwrights mentioned in the volume.
Two volume set. Treats the most important aspects of theatre and performance over time and on a worldwide scale. Entries arranged alphabetically. Topics covered include: concepts and theories that define the field and its terminology (origins of theatre, theories of drama, theater and performance, diaspora, etc.); performance-related issues (avant-garde, voodoo, interculturalism, performance art, etc.); biographies; cities and regions that are theatrical centres (London, Paris, New York, etc.); persons, countries, and topics worldwide. Includes a thematic table of contents and an index.