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THTR 500 - Bibliography and Research Methods

Core Databases

Search for journal articles in some of the Library's many article indexes or databases.

What are the Best Databases to Search?

The Library now subscribes to hundreds of specialized databases that index journal articles, books, book chapters, conference proceedings, dissertations, etc, in different disciplines. Use the same kind of keyword search strategies that you used in the library catalogue. Most databases permit you to set up a free personal account so you can save search results, persistent links to searches, search alerts, journal alerts, and web pages to your personal folder.

Some recommended databases to search for articles about Theatre topics:

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a valuable search tool for doing research, especially for finding citation information in the humanities.

If you are using Google Scholar off campus, make sure you go to Google Scholar Preferences and type in UBC so that it will display links when you access full text articles through the library.

Google works with libraries to determine which journals and papers they've subscribed to electronically, and then links to articles from those sources when they're available. Once you indicate what library you're a member of, they will keep an eye out for that library's subscription materials and provide special links to them in your search results.

To make these links appear:

  • Click on Scholar Preferences
  • Type the name of your library in the 'Library Links' section
  • Click Save preferences
  • Start searching with links to your library's resources (you will need to authenticate yourself to access these resources using EZproxy. All you need is a valid Campus-Wide Login(CWL) or UBC Library Card.)

Try searching "vagina monologues" ensler.


Summon is the UBC Library's meta-discovery tool that provides a single starting point to find and to access the majority of the UBC Library collections - including books, ebooks, scholarly journals and articles, newspaper articles, dissertations and theses, videos, maps, manuscripts, music scores, digitized items, and more.

When searching Summon, it's important to use quotation marks around phrases.
Compare these two searches: dramatic theory  versus "dramatic theory"

Narrow your results to journal articles.

Summon is useful for finding a specific journal article quickly. For example, if you were trying to find Jill Dolan's  2001 article Performance, Utopia, and the "Utopian Performative" published in Theatre Journal, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp.455-479, you can search the article title in Summon: "Performance, Utopia, and the Utopian Performative"

Need Help Finding Journal Articles?

See the UBC Library Guide to Finding Articles. The guide shows you  how to search for a known article from a list or in course reserve, find articles on a topic, and what to do when UBC Library doesn't have the article you're looking for.

More Databases