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Theater Arts: Stagecraft : Home

Getting Started: Primary Sources

Encyclopedias are a good place to begin researching different time periods; entries will give you a solid overview of the era and often provide clues for additional needed research.

Gather primary sources to ground your understanding of the production, values and opinions within this historical context. 

Tip 1: To locate primary sources in library databases, perform a subject or keyword search on the person, place, event, etc. in combination with one of the following: 

  • diaries
  • personal narratives
  • correspondence
  • pictorial works 
  • maps
  • speeches
  • reviews 

Tip 2: Search for the original critical reception/review of the play in newspapers. These reviews are considered primary sources. 

Suggested Databases: 

Dramaturgy & Theater Resources

Images, Films & Museum Collections

Sounds & Music

You can pay to stream music legally from Apple Music, Google Play Music and Spotify. However, you can't upload music found on these sites to projects etc. For free, open access resources check out the following:

Digital Tools for Creating Content

Copyright & Fair Use Basics

What is Fair Use? 

  • Generally speaking, it's an exemption from copyright law which allows users to use protected works in a limited way without having been granted permission. 
  • Four factors to keep in mind: purpose/character of use, nature of the copyrighted work, amount/substantiality of portion used, effect of use on potential market. 
  • Fair Use Checklist 
  • Fair Use Evaluator