Subject – Performing Arts key resources

This key resources page is a great place to start to find the best academic resources for academic research and to inspire your practice. You can use these resources alongside recommended reading from your tutors to extend your research into new areas.

This page brings together lots of hints and tips about using the library resources for your studies and research. Browse through the tabs as each one highlights a different set of key resources within performing arts and music which you will find useful when searching for relevant literature and resources.

The Library subscribes to journals chosen by the Faculty that you can access in print and online via Library Search, the Library’s multi-disciplinary search engine. This will help you discover journal articles in your areas of interest and keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the arts and design world.

By using ‘Library Search’ you will discover a huge number of journal articles and other resources relevant to your studies and research in these key journals and beyond.

This video shows you how to search for a journal in Library Search.

Some journals in this subject are only available in print format. This video shows you how to search and find print journals.

This video shows you how to search for the full text of an article in Library Search.

How can I search for a book?

To find print books and ebooks in the library go to the Library home page and use Library Search. You can limit your search results to books by using the ‘tweak your results’ on the left hand side and under ‘Resource type’ select ‘books’. To limit to ebooks select ‘Availability – available online’.

You can search by a variety of ways including:

A specific book title eg: Beginning musical theatre dance

An author name(s) eg: Double, O. (use the advanced search)

Subject keyword(s) eg: choreography

Or a combination of these eg: Kaye Site-specific art

Refine your search by using the ‘Tweak your results’ on the left of the screen to refine by dateresource type, etc.

You can also watch our informal video on how to use Library Search.

Where will I find the books on the shelves?

The majority of the print books you’ll need to use can be found at St Peter’s Library and at Library@DavidGoldman. Due to wide-ranging nature of art and design subjects, there aren’t just a few shelves where you will find relevant books. Always use Library Search to check the shelfmark of the book.

What new books are there in the library?

Keep an eye on our new books list to keep up to date with new stock arriving in the library. It is updated with details of new stock that has been purchased for all subjects within the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries.

Can the library help develop my reading skills?

Yes, we can! Check out our hints and tips on reading for academic purposes.

Can I create a list of books I'm interested in?

Yes, follow this steps outlined in this video on how to use the ‘My Favourites’ feature in Library Search, and you can start creating your own reading lists straightaway.


Navigate this playlist to learn how to use our new Library Search.

Explore our subscription to Box of Broadcasts (BoB) which is an on-demand TV & radio streaming service. This means that our staff and students have access to BoB’s archive and also have the ability to record upcoming programs over 75 free-to-air channels from the UK and beyond.

** Check out our hints and tips for getting the most out of BoB. You may also find the help videos produced by Box of Broadcasts useful. **

BoB is an educational broadcasting and archives service from the British Universities and Colleges Film and Video Council (BUFVC) which gives access to over two million TV and radio broadcasts dating back to the 1990s. Content includes BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, ITV, Channel 4, Film4 and more. There are 10 foreign language channels (including Italian, French and German) and BBC Shakespeare Archive content dating back to the 1950s.

As well as giving stable, legal access to broadcast content, BoB offers some exciting features for teaching and learning.

  • Links to broadcasts or clips can be embedded into presentations, or embedded into Canvas.
  • Advanced search: It’s possible to search BoB by subject or program as well as by date e.g. it’s possible to see everything broadcast from a date in time.
  • Clips and notes: You can use slider bars on a broadcast to create clips and write annotations on those clips. It’s possible to put these clips into a compilation. No extra software is needed.
  • Playlists: Tutors can create playlists, with annotations, and make these available publicly, to a cohort, or keep them private in a workspace. There are over 80,000 publicly available playlists, and it’s possible to search these by curator, keyword, or institution. Playlists can include programs, individual broadcasts, clips or clip compilations
  • Transcripts: BoB also offers transcripts, which would be helpful for accessibility, language comprehension, quoting for essays, as well as scriptwriting. Transcripts are fully searchable by keyword.

The Library provides access to a wide-range of online databases, here are a selection particularly relevant to performing arts and music:

Art Full Text is a bibliographic database that indexes and abstracts articles from journals published throughout the world. Full-text coverage for selected journals. Coverage includes English-language journals, yearbooks, and museum bulletins, as well as journals published in French, Italian, German, Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, and Swedish. In addition to articles, Art Full Text indexes reproductions of works of art that appear in indexed journals. The contents can be found through Library Search or you can search it separately.

Education Research Complete is a  database available via Library Search containing full text journal articles, conference papers and books. It contains the full text of over 1,300 journals, over 2,500 education related conference papers and access to over 500 ebooks.

The database includes all levels of education from early childhood to higher education, and all educational specialties, such as multilingual education, health education, and testing. It also covers areas of curriculum instruction as well as administration, policy, funding, and related social issues.

Euromonitor focusses its industry analysis across consumer goods and services, including market performance, market size, company and brand shares and profiles of leading companies and brands. For example, music students may want to research sound recording and music publishing in the UK including what key external drivers are impacting on the industry.

International Bibliography of Theatre and Drama is the definitive research tool for the study of theatre and the performing arts. It is a fully indexed, cross-referenced and annotated databank of over 60,000 journal articles, books, book chapters and dissertation abstracts on all aspects of theatre and performance in 126 countries. International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text contains more than 490 full-text titles, including more than 170 full-text journals, and more than 360 full-text books & monographs. The contents can be found through Library Search or you can search it separately.

Literary Reference Center Plus is a really useful database for drama and performing arts. It contains information from reference works, books and literary journals plus 35 volumes of new contemporary literature titles, 40 full-text literary study guides and 72 literary videos. Try a keyword search by author or play title to find relevant journal articles.

colours, dark, dusk, art

Newsstream – Gives access to many contemporary news sources from around the world – find out more about on our blog.

International newspapers – Here is a selection of news websites and international newspapers.

This video tutorial which walks you through how to access Newsstream from anywhere you have internet access.

Research theses (PhD, Professional Doctorates etc) are excellent sources of unpublished information. Two key places to start searching are SURE (our Sunderland repository of research outputs) for University of Sunderland theses and EThOS the UK’s national thesis service:

  • SURE (Sunderland Repository) – Explore research written by University of Sunderland staff and students. You can browse theses by publication year.
  • EThOS (e-theses online service) from the British Library – This is the UK’s national thesis service with approximately 400,000 records relating to theses awarded by over 120 institutions. Around 160,000 of these also provide access to the full text.

Sources for theses from other parts of the world include:

  • DART Europe – Gives access to over a million open access theses throughout Europe.
  • The National Library of Austrialia’s Trove is a free repository of Australian material including theses.
  • PQDT Open – This provides the full text of open access dissertations and theses free of charge where the author has opted to publish as open access. This includes international universities.
  • Theses Canada – This collaborative programme between Library and Archives Canada and Canadian universities provides free access to Canadian digital theses and dissertations from participating universities.

A lot of information is freely available online from the websites of professional associations, research bodies and through social media channels. This includes research reports, professional practice, and current news. A selection of sources for performing arts are listed below.

Peter Roberts, one of Sunderland’s Performing Arts lecturers, has praised the Library’s investment in new books for music students. “I was in the library…we’re looking really well stocked… the breadth and depth that we offer is impressive and, importantly, it feels current. Your support’s been really appreciated.”