Searching Effectively

Dance Research Resources


Dance periodical indexes

  • Performing Arts Periodicals Database. Indexes several dozen dance periodicals from the 1970s to the present and also offers indexes and abstracts of periodicals dating back to 1864. The full texts of recent issues of some dance journals are searchable through this database. 
  • International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance. Includes full text for more than 100 journals, and citations, often with abstracts. Indexes journal articles, books, and dissertations on all aspects of theater and performance. Includes all of the content available in the 14-volume printed International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance.
  • Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive. Primary sources for the history of the film and entertainment industries, from vaudeville and silent movies to c.2000. Includes US and UK trade magazines covering film, dance, music, broadcasting and theater, together with film fan magazines and music press.
  • New York Public Library Catalog. Includes dance periodical indexing from the late 19th century to 2001. (Do a keyword search, and then choose BOOK/TEXT in the left column.)

Multidisciplinary periodical indexes

  • Web of Science Citation Index. A multidisciplinary database that covers several major dance journals, though not as many as the databases listed above. Offers cited reference searching, allowing researchers to locate other journal articles which cite a specific work, or works by a particular author.
  • JSTOR. Multidisciplinary full-text database covering the journal literature of the arts and humanities, including important dance journals.


  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. Contains citations for dissertations and theses done at U.S., Canadian and some foreign institutions. Free PDFs of almost all dissertations done since 1997.
  • British Library EThOS Service. Search c. half a million doctoral theses from UK institutions. Download instantly, or order a scanned copy quickly and easily.

Online reference works

  • International Encyclopedia of Dance. Articles by scholars from many countries. Covers dance— theatrical, ritual, dance-drama, folk, traditional, ethnic, and social dance. Cultural and national overviews are accompanied by entries on dance forms, music and costumes, performances, and biographies of dancers and choreographers.
  • Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance. Ancient Greek theater to modern London, Paris, New York. Dance, opera, radio, film, television, and popular performance, including carnivals, circus, and public executions. Entries range from short definitions of terms to substantive examinations of genres and movements. Entries on cities and regions place performance in its local social and political context.

Library catalogs

  • OSU Libraries Catalog. Look for dance books and videos available at the Music & Dance Library and other OSU libraries.
  • OhioLINK. A combined ("union") catalog of most Ohio college and university libraries. If an item is not available at OSU (not listed in the online catalog, checked out, etc.), search for it in this database and make an online request to have it sent here. The service is free, and most OhioLINK items arrive in three to five business days.
  • OCLC WorldCat. If you cannot locate an item in our online catalog or in the OhioLINK catalog, search this union catalog of thousands of libraries around the world. Many items can be requested by interlibrary loan, and you can make the request on line. If you need help, ask any staff member for assistance.

Other online research resources

  • Open Vault - WGBH. Historically important content produced by the public television and radio station WGBH. Includes audio, video, images, searchable transcripts. 
  • Hathi Trust. More than ten million digitized books and journals.
  • Lincoln Kirstein Writings. Lincoln Kirstein was co-founder, with George Balanchine, of the School of American Ballet and the New York City Ballet.
  • National Dance Education Organization. A non-profit organization dedicated to promoting standards of excellence in dance education by providing the dance artist and the dance educator a network of resources and support, a base for advocacy, and access to programs and projects that focus on the importance of dance.
  • Society for Dance Research. An internationally focused, British-based non-profit society that supports and develops scholarly interests in all forms of dance through seminars, conferences, performances, and publications.
  • Dance Studies Association. An international organization of dance scholars, educators, and artists which aspires to be a gathering place to facilitate collegiality and contribute to the advancement of the field.
  • Dance USA. Advances professional dance by addressing the needs, concerns, and interests of artists, administrators, and organizations.