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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

Theatre

Sources for Cultural/Historical Context

I suggest that you look for highly credible overviews of countries, historical events, etc. via scholarly encyclopedia entries. Think Wikipedia-like, but written by experts.

Don't discount finding books! Skim the introductory chapters, or look in the table of contents or the back-of-the-book index for your topic, to find relevant information for your query. When searching the EWU Library Catalog, change the scope to just EWU Libraries to limit to our collection, then note which call numbers come up the most frequently. Then go browse!

For books with lots of images, add "pictorial works" OR "illustrated works" to your search.

Prefer to watch a video? We have access to thousands of quality documentaries via AVON.

Historical Magazines & Newspapers

If you'd like to browse popular magazines/newspapers to get costume or set decoration ideas, here are some suggestions.

Have physical in the library:

  • New Republic 1914-present - EWU-Cheney Main Level Periodical AP2 .N624
  • Newsweek 1935-present - EWU-Cheney Main Level Periodical AP2 .N6772   
  • Time Magazine 1923-present - EWU-Cheney AP2 .T37 (1923-1982 is in Lower Level Auxiliary, 1982-present is Main Level Periodical)

For newspapers, we have a few titles in microfilm. But lots of historical newspapers have been digitized, and some are keyword searchable, and some aren't. But if you're just browsing for a date, searchability doesn't matter that much.

Some 19th century magazines, and lots of older than 1923 books that have been digitized, are searchable via Hathitrust.

Sources for Costumes

Terminology in the EWU Library Catalog

"Costume design" tends to be used for books on making costumes. For broader searches of what people were wearing in X time, try: 

(costume* OR fashion OR "clothing and dress") AND [timeframe, geographic area, etc. if you want to limit]

Location/Call Number

Most of the books will be given a call number that begins with:

  • GT -- in a culture section, these books will be on the Upper Level
  • TT -- in a "handicrafts" technical section, these books are usually more about the techniques of making clothing and fashion, and are on the Lower Level

Example...

Examples of Reference Sets

These do not leave the library. You can request that we scan a section for you. Just click the link Request a scan of a chapter or excerpt.

Sources for Furniture & Decoration

Terminology in the EWU Library Catalog

Try (furniture* OR "decorative arts") AND [timeframe, geographic area, etc. if you want to limit]

Location/Call Number

Most of the books will be given a call number that begins with:

  • NK = Decorative Arts

Example...

Examples of Reference Sets

These do not leave the library.