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Theater and Performing Arts: Books, Videos

Library Catalogs

Library holdings--including video resources and digital titles--are found online using UC Library Search.


The Library purchases most electronic books in collections of titles rather than by individual title. UC Berkeley Library eBook Collections can be from a single publisher, cover a wide range of subject areas or specialize in one subject. The principle single source for ebooks in TDPS is the Theatre in Context Collection

UC Library Search also contains broader electronic collections rich in titles from the Arts & Humanities, such as ebrary, Oxford Scholarship Online, Hathitrust, ACLS Humanities E-Book Collection, and UC Press eBook Collection (1982-2004). In addition, many more individual titles can be found searching:

Video Collections

Individual video titles can be found using UC Library Search. Most items will be housed at the Media Resources Center (MRC), 150 Moffitt Library.  In addition, the UCB Library subscribes to the following onilne streaming video resources:

See also:

Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library, an online archive of rare video documenting social performance in the Americas. A partnership with New York University Libraries. 

Image Collections

New at UC Berkeley in 2021 — Performance Design Archive Online, covering all aspects of theater production design, from the 17th century through to the present day, including scenic and set design, lighting design, sound design, costume design, and makeup. This database brings  together essential books and periodicals, archival material, and specially commissioned instructional videos. 

See also ARTstor, a repository of more than 1 million digital images and associated catalog data. The collection is designed to be used by students and faculty for teaching and research in art history, as well as many other disciplines, including theater and costume design.


Index to the Portraits in Odell's Annals of the New York Stage. George Clinton Densmore Odell and Alan Seymour Downer, eds. New York: American Society for Thetre Research, c1963. Main Stacks  PN2277.N5 O4 index

19th Century Actors and Theater Photographs, University of Washington Libraries
Includes "over 600 photographs including cartes-de-visite and cabinet card studio portraits of entertainers, actors, and actresses who performed on the American stage in the mid- to late 1800s. Many of these actors and actresses were little known outside of the major theater centers of New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston."

Portraits of Actors, 1720-1920. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, UIUC
Almost 3,500 pictures of actors: studio portraits and actors posing in costume for a particular role or performing a scene from a play. Dramatists, theatrical managers, singers and musicians are also included, but the majority are British and American actors who worked between about 1770 and 1893. From the University of IIllinois Theatrical Print Collection.

Ringling Collection: Images of 19th-Century Actors and Actresses, University of Florida
Cabinet cards, postcards and photographs of 19th-century American and British actors and actresses.


Motley Collection of Theatre & Costume Design. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, UIUC
Over 5000 items from more than 150 productions in England and the United States, including costume and set designs, sketches, notes, photographs, prop lists, storyboards, and swatches of fabric. Browse items in this collection by theatre or by play title.

Costume Historical Image Collections. Institute of Museum and Library Services' Digital Collections and Content
Includes Digital Dress: Historic Costume Collection, Dorothea June Grossbart Historic Costume Collection, Meadow Brook Hall Historic Costume Collection, and Henry Ford Historic Costume Collection.

Theatre Productions and Players, 1920s-1957: Vandamm Studio Photographs
The nearly 2,500 items in this digital presentation based in the New York Public Library are a sampling of an archive of more than 75,000 images of theatrical personalities and productions.