Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Theater: Theater History


Theater History on the Web - A vast resource with many deep links.


Ancient Theatre Archives - Photos of Greek and Roman theatres, bibliography, glossary and seating capacities.

Ancient Greek Theatre - A collaborative project, with some areas available only to members.  Free sign-up.  Very interesting!

Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama - Based at Oxford University, this is a brilliant site, chronicalling performances from earliest times to the present day.

Didaskalia - Ancient Theatre Today - An ejournal covering all aspects of performances of ancient Greek and Roman drama.

Records of Early English Drama - A repository of documents dating from the Middle Ages through 1642, relating to theatre, secular music and other forms of secular entertainment.  Searchable by people, primary and secondary sources.

Folger Shakespeare Library - The world's largest collection of the printed works of Shakespeare as well as a repository of materials from the early modern period.  Podcasts, excerpts from audio recordings of select plays, interactive resources and the ability to virtually meet with a referece library are all available.

Shakespearean Prompt-Books of the Seventeenth Century - Studies of stage texts used in different performances of Shakespeare's plays.

Calendrier des spectacles sous l'Ancien Régime 1601-1774 (CESAR) - Registration is free to this collaborative resource, which contains not only a searchable database, but a vast collection of images.  A great resource for information about French theater, opera, ballet and divertissements during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Le Theatre de la Foire à Paris - A wonderful scholarly resource for historical research, with the inception of this theater in 1668.  In French only.

Development of Scenic Spectale - A wonderful resource for renaissance and baroque technical history.  Fantastic bibliography, explanations of basic machinery, computer modeling, and videos of machines by type and designer.

Drottningholm Theater video clips: 1 2 3 4 - (University of Michigan)Films of eighteenth century opera stage machinery in action.  Great views of behind-the-scenes special effects in this Swedish theater.


Post 1800 Europe and Asia


British Women Playwrights around 1800- An diverse array of well-researched scholarly articles on a variety of topics.

East London Theatre Archive - Covers the 19th through the 21st centuries.  A Victoria and Albert collection of ephemera including playbills, programs reviews and photos.  Entries stopped in 2009.  Could be useful.

Early Twentieth-Century Russian Drama - Covers the period between the 1890's and 1930's, including Chekov, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and the entire theatrical milieu.  Extensive entries for visual art, directors, designers, plays and many additional resources.

German Film and Performing Arts - Part of the comprehensive German Sties Web with many external links.


Kabuki 21 - Very helpful and expansive site containing chronologies, glossaries and more.

Kabuki for Everyone - Timelines, Sounds of Kabuki and some online performances.  English translation of the original site.

New Performance Forms - connects different art archives and their digital databases. Widely diverse information (basic data, texts, images) on individuals, groups and institutions as well as details about exhibitions and literature.

Fluxus portal -art/not art, performance art, people, exhibitions, films and links to a myriad of fluxus-related resources.

Live Art Development Agency - The world’s principal organization for live art is a knowledge, production, publication and research center.  Free access to a wide variety of films and videos.

Total Art Journal - Interdisciplinary discourse within the arts.  Excellent essays and performance arts pieces.

Ubu Web - film and video, dance and much more.  “All avant-garde.  All the time.”

North America

Internet Broadway Database - Official Broadway database, with historical records of productions.

Internet Movie Database - Excellent resource for all matters filmic


      Performing Arts Encyclopedia - A vast array of resources in theater, dance and music.

      Historic Newspapers - [aka Chronicling America]  Excellent resource for reviews, ads and essays  Fully digitized copies from 1836-1922, and a complete US newspaper directory from 1690- the present, with links for finding specific publications.

      Film Collections - Lists of videotapes from a broad variety of collections at the LOC, dating from the mid-19th century.

      Prints and Photographs - Online catalog of a vast number of images, including posters, many of which can be downloaded.

19th Century Actors Photographs - Over 600 photos of actors and performers from the mid to late nineteenth century.

American Vaudeville Museum - At home page, click on "Resources and Links" for good resources and excellent profiles.

Center for Popular Music - 19th century posters, playbills, programs and much more.

Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia - Entries for plays and playwrights.  Searchable by title.  People listed alphabetically.

Native American Women Playwrights Archive - Lists of playwrights, bibliographies, links and more.  Not ver current, but this could be useful.

Lilly Library is a founding member of PALNI, ALI, and The Oberlin Group

Wabash logo
301 W Wabash Avenue
Crawfordsville, IN 47933
(765) 361-6100