Department of Theatre
Gerald Burke, Subject Librarian
I. General Purpose
The Theatre Department offers degree an undergraduate minor and a student-initiated interdisciplinary major. These programs offer a choice of the technical and historic/literary aspects of theatre, ranging from theatrical design, lighting, costume design, directing, and acting, theatrical history, theory, criticism, and dramatic literature.
The University Libraries' collections support primarily the curricular and research needs of the department.
II. Subject and Language Modifiers
Languages: The principal language is English; materials in other Western European languages are selectively acquired.
Geographical Areas and Subjects: While the interests of the department center primarily on the Western World, works on the theatre worldwide are acquired. Contemporary and classical plays are studied extensively, as well as all aspects of theatrical production. The performance and literary merit of works is studied, thus overlapping significantly with the English Studies curriculum. Also, there is a growing interest in experimental theatre and performance art, which leads to an overlap with the Art curriculum. Similar to the English Studies curriculum, attention is given to ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Material by and about African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and Native American playwrights, actors, and performance artists is collected. Also, works by and about women are collected.
Chronological Periods: The period studied begins with the time of the ancient Greeks and extends to the present.
III. Description of Materials Collected
Types of Materials Collected: The collections include all types of monographs and periodicals in print, microform, and full-text online. Non-print media such as DVD recordings of plays are also collected. Works by African, Caribbean, and Latin American writers and performers are collected. Works on the history of costume and costume for the stage and on the history of dance, especially in the twentieth century are purchased.
Types of Materials Excluded: The Library does not normally collect dissertations, textbooks, or materials offering popular treatments. Newsletters and collections of previously published articles are not purchased in other than exceptional instances.
Interdisciplinary Factors: There is a great deal of overlap between what is purchased for the Theatre Department, the English Department, and the Art Departments.
IV. Subject and Collection Levels [Collection Level Descriptions]
The theatre collection is maintained at the Study or Instructional Support Level, Intermediate.
V. Other Significant Collections and Resource Sharing
The collection of the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center can be used by faculty and students.
VI. Internal Notes
The Yankee Book Peddler approval plan coverage is slight, except in theatre history and drama-as-literature. Some publications of performance studies come in on approval, but most must be purchased with discretionary funds.
Contemporary plays and collections of monologues are purchased extensively with discretionary funds. Books about costume, set design, lighting, and dance are also purchased.
There is a great demand for video recordings of performances; these are purchased as funds permit.
There is a permanent collection in the Reserve Room of books of monologues which are in great demand by undergraduate theatre students. Copies of plays to be produced by the department are always placed on reserve.
Titles for the Reference collection are purchased by the Subject Librarian for Reference upon recommendation of the Theatre Subject Librarian.