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Acting, Drama and Music Subject Guide

An Academic Librarian guide for students


You can use NELSON to search the Library’s books, e-books, e-journals, videos & more. Login with your University username and password at the top right hand side of the page so you can access the full-text material and save your search results.

If the item is available electronically, you’ll see a link to the full-text online. If the content is available in print, you’ll see a shelfmark letting you know where to find the book on the shelf.

There are two videos available to help you make the most of NELSON; Introducing NELSON and Using NELSON for advanced searching

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Google Scholar is a search engine that provides links to full-text articles to which the University Library System subscribes or to articles made freely available by the publisher. Scholar also provides articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and scholarly articles posted on the web. 

Did you know that you can link Google Scholar to full-text e-book and e-journal articles available on NELSON?

We have a video available for information on how to link Google Scholar to NELSON and to search it effectively.

Key Resources

In order to carry out focused research, you may find it more useful to search an individual database (for example, Drama Online or Art Full Text). Depending upon your topic area there may be a number of relevant databases and it is worthwhile searching more than one as not all articles are listed in every database.

All databases can be accessed via your subject collection in the ‘Databases’ tab in NELSON or using the direct links below. To access most of the databases you will need to login using your university login details.

The list below contains key sources for your subject areas but there may be times when you need to search other databases. For example, if you need information on teaching drama, you may also need to search an education database. You can access the full A-Z list of databases covering all subject areas. You can check the subjects & categories listing if you are unsure which database to search for your topic.

Key databases for Acting, Drama & Music:

  • Academic Video Online A multidisciplinary collection of videos, images and sound recordings. The Music and Performing Arts sections combine audio and video that spans all time periods, hundreds of thousands of seminal artists, composers, choreographers, and ensembles . The Drama section features performances of the most significant dramatic literature of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. These performances are from works spanning from Shakespeare to modern day playwrights
  • Archival Sound Recordings Listen to a selection from the British Library’s extensive collections of unique sound recordings, which come from all over the world and cover the entire range of recorded sound: music, drama and literature, oral history, wildlife and environmental sounds. Also includes accents and dialects
  • Art Full Text Art research database providing full-text art journals and books.  Includes articles, reviews, and exhibition listings, and covers all aspects of art, including visual arts, performing arts, archaeology, television and video
  • BOB (Box of Broadcasts) BoB is a service from the British Film and Video Council that enables you to record and view TV and radio online from the free-to-air channels. Provides access over one million TV and radio programmes from more than 60 channels from 2002
  • Copyright Law for Printed Music Copyright advice on printed music issues aimed at singers, instrumentalists, orchestras, choirs, bands and other users of printed music
  • Drama Online Drama Online is a key, comprehensive multi-media and textual resource for the study of drama in all its genres. Excellent source which includes Play Tools with Character Grids, Words and Speech graphs and Part Books
  • Europeana Go to the Music collection to explore  345,935 music recordings, pieces of sheet music and other music items from across Europe
  • Grove Music Online With over 60,000 articles written by over 6,000 music scholars, Grove Music Online (GMO) is the authoritative resource for music research with an ongoing mission to chart the diverse history and cultures of music and musicians from around the globe
  • International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance A specialist index to journal and magazine articles in the fields of drama, dance, performance, film, television and literature. The database also includes full-text access to many of the articles
  • JSTOR Multidisciplinary arts and humanities database useful for the social, historical and cultural aspects of performing arts and music
  • NAXOS Music Library An online educational resource containing over 245,430 streamed tracks of music in the areas of: Classical Music, Contemporary Jazz, Jazz/Folk/Blues Legends, Nostalgia, World/Folk, Adult Contemporary, Chinese Music and Pop and Rock
  • Project Muse Multidisciplinary arts and humanities database useful for the social, historical and cultural aspects of performing arts and music
  • Rock's Backpages 12,000 articles, interviews and reviews from the world's best music writers and critics, from the late 1950s to the present day
  • Sound on Sound Magazine An archive of highly informative articles that chart the impact of technology on the music production and recording processes. Includes in-depth product tests of Recording Systems, Music Software: DAWs, Virtual Instruments, Plug-ins, Audio Interfaces, Synthesizers, Keyboards and Rack Modules, Music Computers, Samplers, Effects and Outboard Processors, Mixing Consoles, Microphones and Monitors.

Using images

Using images to illustrate or make clear the description and discussion in your text is useful, but it is important that you give due recognition to the work of other people that you present with your own.  ‘IMAGE’ is used to refer to any visual resource such as a diagram, graph, illustration, design, photograph, or video. They may be found in books, journals, reports, web pages, online video, DVDs and other kinds of media. A ‘CREATOR’ of an image could be an illustrator, photographer, author or organisation. We have a video available for using images in your work.