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Theater Arts: Locating Scripts

A guide to library research tools for theatre.

Strategies for Locating Play Scripts

The MIT Libraries have many scripts from a range of playwrights. Unfortunately, there is no good way to pull up an exhaustive list of what we have online, but there are several ways you might locate some of what we have.


Play Index

This database allows you to search for plays by genre, number of characters, theme, etc. If you find a play that looks interesting, search for the title in Barton, our library catalog:

Barton: MIT Libraries' Catalog
 

Search for Specific Titles/Writers

If you have a particular script or author in mind, you can do either a title or author search in Barton:

Barton: MIT Libraries' Catalog
 

Browse the Shelves
Check the following call number ranges:

  • PR6000-6049: British playwrights who started writing between 1900 and 1960
  • PR6050-6076: British playwrights who started writing between 1961 and 2000
  • PR6100-6126: British playwrights who started writing between 2001 and the present
  • PS3500-3549: American playwrights who started writing between 1900 and 1960
  • PS3550-3576: American playwrights who started writing between 1961 and the present

 

Note that this suggestion is only for plays that we've recently acquired. However, because they're much smaller and thinner than other books on the shelf, scripts usually stand out if you're looking in those call number ranges.


Monologues

For collections of monologues, use monologue as a keyword in either Barton or Play Index. Most collections of monologues will be around call number PN4305.


Use MIT's WorldCat to Locate Scripts in Other Libraries

MIT's WorldCat allows you to request directly from other non-MIT libraries - just click on the "request" button for the script you want:


 

Search Harvard's Collection

Harvard's online catalog is called HOLLIS:  http://hollis.harvard.edu/. MIT students, faculty, and research staff are eligible for borrowing privileges at some Harvard libraries.

Literature, Global Studies and Languages, Philosophy, and Theater Arts Librarian

More ways to get help

If I'm not available to answer your question, please feel free to consult with one of my colleagues:

 

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