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TH241: Library Databases Workshop

Instructions and resources for TH241 library databases workshop

Speed Databasing: Pre-Class Activity

Welcome, TH241 students! In preparation for next week's library workshop you will need to complete the tasks below.

During this speed-dating-style session you're going to "meet" and explore some databases that you can use to find reputable sources for your essays and other assignments. You never know - you might just find your perfect match! 

There are six different databases to meet, and you should spend at least 5-10 minutes exploring each one of them. You will need to:

  • Read the dating profile for each one
  • Log in to the database and try out at least one search

When you're looking at each database, think about the following questions:

  • How could this database be useful for your studies/assignments?
  • What sort of materials does the database include?
  • How can you can limit/filter your results?
  • Are there any special features or tools?
  • Are there any limitations to the database? (e.g. time period/type of material covered, reliability of sources, etc.)
  • What do you particularly like or dislike about the database?

In the workshop next week, we'll have six rounds (one for each database) where you'll be split into breakout rooms to discuss your answers to these questions, and then each group will feed back to the rest of the class.

You can join the workshop at 1pm on Monday 19 October using the following Zoom link:

If you want to make any notes, you can use the worksheet below.


Below you'll find the six different databases that we're going to look at. After you have read the dating profile for each one, you can log in to the database by clicking on the link. Try searching for the suggested keyword(s), and have a think about the questions above. 

Round 1: JSTOR

JSTOR  is a full-text archive of selected journals, starting with the very first issues, many of which were published as far back as the nineteenth century!

Try searching for "Robert Lepage".

Round 2: Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts - or BoB, as their friends call them - is an off-air recording and media archive service. It provides access to TV and radio programmes that have previously been broadcast.

Try searching for "Kwame Kwei-Armah".

 Round 3: Project Muse

Project Muse  provides access to peer-reviewed journals from scholarly publishers in the Humanities and Social Sciences. It includes a large number of journals for Theatre Studies and Performing Arts.

Try searching for "Richard Schechner". 

Round 4: Google Scholar

Google Scholar  is a freely-available web search engine that indexes scholarly literature in all formats and academic disciplines.

Try searching for "environmental theatre".

Round 5: NEXIS

NEXIS  provides access to over 2000 global news sources with a 40 year archive. It includes the full text of The Guardian, The Independent, The Times and most other major UK and international newspapers, so it's a great place to find reviews of theatrical productions.

Try searching for "Barber Shop Chronicles".

Round 6: Drama Online

Drama Online  provides access to over 1,700 playtexts as well as a wide range of critical scholarly works on theatre and performance.

Try searching for Bola Agbaje's 2010 play "Off the Endz" and/or critical works on Howard Barker.

Any questions?

If you're unsure of anything, or have any questions before we meet for the library workshop, please do get in touch! My email address is

Want to know more?

Your Subject Guide provides links to all of the databases above, plus a who range of other resources that you can use to find sources for your essays and other assignments in Drama/Theatre Studies, so it's a great place to start if you're not sure which database to use. You'll also find guidance there on evaluating resources, search skills and referencing.