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Dance: Reference Resources

Why Use Reference Resources?

These tools-—encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks & guides, directories, etc. listed below—will acquaint you with the significant terms, ideas, and people in your topic. They are often used to answer quick questions efficiently or to provide background information about a topic. Recommended quick start: International Encyclopedia of Dance contains signed articles with bibliography, videography, and other resources for further research.

See also Oxford Reference Online: Performing Arts. For a list of reference sources available for online searching in all subject areas see the UC Berkeley Library web page on Databases by Type


Bremser, Laura and Larraine Nicholas and Leanda Shrimpton.  International dictionary of ballet.  2 vols.  Detroit: St. James Press, 1993.  Doe Reference Hall GV1585.I57 1993

Clarke, Mary and David Vaughan. The Encyclopedia of Dance & Ballet. New York: Putnam, 1977. Doe Ref and Main GV1585.C55
Information on dance as a performing art in the 20th Century.

Craine, Debra and Judith Mackrell. The Oxford Dictionary of Dance. Oxford [England]; New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. Doe Ref and Moffitt Ref GV1585.C78 2000 Non-circulating

De Mille, Agnes. The Book of the Dance. New York, Golden Press, 1963. Main GV1601 .D4

International Encyclopedia of Dance. Doe Ref and Music GV1585.I586 1998 Main Stack GV1585.P74 1995 Covers classical ballet and modern dance with articles on dance development.

Preston-Dunlap, Valerie Monthland.  Dance Words.  Chur, Switzerland: Harwood Academic, 1995.  Main GV 1585.P74 1995


The Anthropology of Dance: a Selected Bibliography. Judith Lynne Hanna. Richardson, Tex.: University of Texas, 1976. Anthropology Library GV 1594 .A12 .H33 1976

A Bibliography of Dancing; a List of Books and Articles on the Dance and Related Subjects. Paul David Magriel. New York, The H. W. Wilson company, 1936. Suppl. 1938 Main Stack GV 1581 .M3 Most useful for research in dance history. Good index.

Bibliography of Treatises on the Dance to 1900.
Music Library MICROFILM AA2977

Black Dance: an Annotated Bibliography. Alice J. Adamczyk. New York: Garland, 1989. Doe Reference GV 1595 .A12 .A331 1989
Main Stack GV 1595 .A12 .A331 1989 Culled from the New York Public Library collections, this bibliography lists books, journals and periodicals and gives short annotations.

A core collection in dance. Mary E. Edsall, ed. Chicago: Dance Librarians Committee, Association of College and Research Libraries, 2001. Doe Reference  GV1594.A12 C67 2001

The Music and Dance of the World's Religions : a Comprehensive, Annotated Bibliography of Materials in the English Language. E. Gardner Rust. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1996. Music Library ML 128 .S17 .R87 1996

Social Dancing in America: A History and Reference.  Ralph G. Giordano.  Westport: Greenwood Press, 2007.   Main GV 1623.G56 2007.

Handbooks / Guides

Ballet Plot Index: a Guide to Locating Plots and Descriptions of Ballets and Associated Material. William E. Studwell and David A. Hamilton. New York, NY : Garland Pub., 1987. Main Stack GV 1790 .A1 .S771 1987 Indexes over fifty books for plots, illustrations, criticism and other information about ballets.

Bopp, Mary S. Research in Dance: a Guide to Resources.  New York: Maxell, 1994. Doe and Moff Ref GV1594.A12.B67 1994    

Dance: an Annotated Bibliography, 1965-1982. Fred R. Forbes, Jr. New York: Garland Pub., 1986. Main Stack GV 1594 .A12 .F581 1986 Bibliography covering many areas of dance.

Guide to Dance Periodicals. Main Stack GV 1590 .A12 .G8 Library has: Bound 1(1931-1935), 3(1941)-10 (1962). Author and subject indexes to several dance journals. UCB is restarting its subscription with 2002.

Index to Dance Periodicals. Main Stack GV 1594 .I53 Library has: BOUND 1994-1997. Prepared by the Dance Division of New York Public Library, this index covers current dance periodicals.


UC Berkeley Library biographical resources from all subject areas are a small subset of over 1250 available databases and include excellent starting points, such as Biography and Geneaology Master Index and World Biographical Information System. See also:

Biographical Dictionary of Dance. Cohen-Stratyner, Barbara Naomi. New York: Schirmer Books; London: Collier Macmillan, 1982. Doe Ref and Main GV1785.A1.C58 1982 Short sketches of nearly 2,900 people from Europe and the Americas over the last four centuries.

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