Home > Departments > Collection Development > Collection Development Guidelines > Theatre

I. Purpose and Program Description

A. Library's Collection Development Objectives

The library seeks to provide materials primarily to support courses at the undergraduate level in Theatre. Theatre is included in the Department of Communication. The library also seeks to support Masters degree level coursework in this area as part of the Master's of Liberal Arts degree program. In addition, the library supports the work of undergraduate students in the School of Education who upon graduation will be qualified to teach theatre and drama in the public schools. Secondary support is directed to faculty teaching and research and research assistance for patrons. Our library is the primary support library for both the professional regional repertory theatre company housed at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and for the Master of Fine Arts degree programs offered by the University of Alabama but housed at ASF.   The interdisciplinary nature of these studies requires that students and faculty consult related collections in the library.

B. Curricular Program Description

Extensive resources in the library are needed by the director and design teams for theatre productions. This would include, for example, materials on: (1) the life and times of a particular playwright, (2) the theatre history and dramatic literature for that playwright's own time and country, (3) the country and time period in which the play is set, and (4) reviews of as many other productions as have been mounted of the play in question or the mounting of the other works by Tom Stoppard and Dario Fo who are contemporary English and Italian authors respectively; Vincent Van Gogh, 19th-century French painter, George M. Cohen, an early 20th-century forward American composer and playwright; and a modern British author about the French Revolution. Some courses are also offered in support of the Master of Liberal Arts degree program. Theater courses taught in that program to date have been in 19th-century American drama, Elizabethan and Stuart drama, and Colonial American drama.

C. New and Expanding Areas of Interest

Afro-American Theatre
African Drama
European Theatre
French Drama
Film Studies

D. Areas of Specialization

1. acting                                         7. dramatic literature
2. directing                                      8. theatre administration
3. costume design                             9. playwriting
4. set design                                   10. dance
5. lighting design                              11. film
6. theatre history

E. Overlap with Other Academic Disciplines and Library Collections

Speech/Communication, Education, Music, Fine Arts, Sociology, History, International Studies, Philosophy


II. General Selection Guidelines

A. Languages: English is the primary language collected. Works in other languages may be acquired, with particular attention being paid to acquiring the best available English translation available. The latter is a second priority. When greater funds are available, the library seeks to build a theatre collection with an international perspective, acquiring the most basic and monumental works from countries outside the Western tradition.

B. Chronological Coverage: No limitations.

C. Geographical Coverage: Dictated by the author's country of origin, though primarily United States and Western Europe at this time.

D. Types of Materials: Includes encyclopedias, handbooks, directories, dictionaries, yearbooks, periodicals, bibliographies, biographies, monographs and journals. Theses from the MLA program are added.

E. Imprint Date: Current in-print publications receive priority, however, retrospective publications are also being purchased in available formats at this time in order to fill in gaps.


F. Physical Format: Hardbound and paperbound books are collected extensively. Pamphlets, serials, and periodicals are collected selectively.   Books with media, microforms and audiovisuals are collected selectively in consultation with the Theatre liaison Library.  

G. Treatment of Subject: The library is attempting to build a level 2b-3a collection in the areas of: theatre history, dramatic literature, acting (historical as well as contemporary studies), lighting design, dramatic theory, and dramatic criticism. In the areas of dance, film, theatre administration, and playwriting the level is 2a-2b. Popular treatments of theater and drama will    be acquired only selectively, and with justification.

H. Place of Publication: Primary emphasis: United States, U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. While primary emphasis is placed on English language publications, imprints from other countries will be considered.

I. Acquisitions Plans Affecting Theater:

1.) Standing Orders:

Contemporary Authors
Contemporary Authors New Revision Series
Contemporary Literary Criticism
Dictionary of Literary Biography
Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook
Drama Criticism
Literary Criticism From 1400-1800
Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism
Performing Arts Resources
Shakespearean Criticism
Something About the Author
Twentieth Century Literary Criticism

2.) Approval Plans:

Blackwell North America: Books and Forms; Baker & Taylor: forms.

J. Major Assessment/Selection Tools: Altick, Richard D. Selective Bibliography for the Study of English and American Literature; Books for College Libraries; MLA; Sheehy, Eugene P. Guide to Reference Books; Katz, Bill. Magazines for College Libraries; Choice; subject bibliographies from major works such as Oscar Brockett's A History of the Theatre and Century of Innovation.

K. Weeding/Replacement: Currency is not a primary consideration, therefore weeding will be kept to a minimum. Items will be considered for weeding should their physical condition become such that they are no longer capable of being used. Where possible, obtaining replacement copies will be considered.   Discussions between the departmental and the theatre liaison will determine whether microformat is acceptable as a replacement.

L. Classification That Define the Scope of the Collection:

GT 95-2370 Customs, Dress, Costume
ML 1700-2100 Opera. Musical Theatre
NA 6210-7010 Other public buildings (incl. Theatres)
PG 3041-3465 Russian Drama
PL 2357-2685 Chinese Drama
PN 1560-1590 Performing Arts. Show Business
PN 1600-6120 Drama. Theatre
PQ 500-6124 Romance languages Drama (Fr., It,.Sp.)
PR 621-9356 English Drama
PS 330-3545 American Drama
PT 605-701 German Drama
TT 55 Handicrafts (incl. Costume Design)
Z 1231 Special Topics, A-Z (American Drama)
Z 2014 Special Topics, A-Z (English Drama)
Z 5784.s-.Z Drama Theatre
Z 6935 Performing Arts

Library Liaison: Best                           Subject: THEATRE



Collection Level

LC Class Descriptor Existing Strength Desired Strength
GT 95-2370 Customs. Dress. Costume 1a 2b
ML 1700-2100 Opera. Musical Theatre 1a 2a
NA 6210-7010 Other Public Bldgs. (includes Theatres) 1b 2a
PG 3041-3089 Russian Poetry/Drama 1b 2a
PG 3240-3255 Russian Drama 1a 2b
PG 3332-3335 Gogol 1a 2b
PG 3420-3445 Turgenev 1a 2b
PG 3455-3458 Chekhov 1a 3a
PG 3462-3465 Gorky 1b 2b
PG 2357 Chinese Drama 0 2a
PL 2685.E5- Chinese Drama & Fiction 0 2a
PN 1560-1590 Performing Arts. Show Business 1b 2b
PN 1600-1655 Drama/ Theatre 1b 3a
PN 1661-1707 Technique of Dramatic Composition 1b 3a
PN 1720-1861 History (General) 1b 3a
PN 1861-1864 20th Century History 1a 3a
PN 1865-1919 Special Types of Drama. Tragedy. Tragicomedy. Melodrama. 1a 3a
PN 1920-1969 Comedy. Burlesque. Vaudeville 1a 3a
PN 1970-1981 Marionettes. Puppets 0 2a
PN 1985-1988 Pantomimes 0 2a
PN 2053-2054 Dramatic Representation. Theatre 1a 3a
PN 2055-2065 Management. Production 1b 3a
PN 2067-2071 Acting 1b 3a
PN 2074-2078 Costume. Make up. Special Topics 2a 3a
PN 2081-2096 Careers. Study 1a 3a
PN 2100-2193 The Stage. Lighting. Sets Scenery 2a 3a
PN 2000-2051 Theatre. History 2a 3a
PN 2205-2219 Theatre. Biography International 1b 3a
PN 2220-2236 Theatre. U.S. General 1b 3a
PN 2237-2269 Special Periods 1a 3a
PN 2270.A35 Afro-American Theatre 1a 2a
PN 2273-2277 Theatre. Local History 1a 2b
PN 2285-2286 Collective Biography 1b 3a
PN 2287-2288 Individual Biography 2a 3a
PN 2289-2290 Directories. Guidebooks 1a 3a
PN 2291-2298 Management. Production 1b 2b
PN 2300-2309 Theatre. Canada 1b 2b
PN 2570-2574 Europe. General 1b 3a
PN 2575-2592 Britain. General. 18th, 19th, & 20th Centuries 1b 3a
PN 2593-2595 Britain. 18th, 19th, Centuries 1b 3a
PN 2596 Special Cities 1a 3a
PN 2597 Collective Biography 1a 3a
PN 2598 Individual Biography 1b 3a
PN 2600-2798 Other European Countries 1a 2b
PN 2860-2960 Asia 1a 2b
PN 3035 Jewish Theatre 0 2b
PN 3171 Drama in Education 1b 2b
PN 6111-6120 Drama 2b 3a
PQ 500-591 French Drama 2a 2b
PQ 1211-1279 French Drama/Fiction 2a 2b
PQ 4233-4245 Italian Literature (Drama) 1b 2b
PQ 6099-6124 Spanish Drama 1a 2b
PR 621-640 English Drama. General 1b 3a
PR 641-644 Medieval Drama 2a 3a
PR 646-655 16th Century Elizabethan 2a 3a
PR 658 Special Topics A-Z 1b 3a
PR 671-698 17th Century 2a 3a
PR 701-719 18th Century 2a 3a
PR 721-739 19th & 20th Century 2a 3a
PR 2411 English Renaissance Drama 2a 3a
PR 2750 Shakespeare. General 2a 3a
PR 2800-2840 Individual Plays, A-Z 2b 3a
PR 2878-2890 Imitation. Paraphrases. Adaptations. Societies. Collections 1a 3a
PR 2892 Concordances.Dictionaries 2a 3a
PR 2893-2909 Biography 2a 3a
PR 2910-2920 The Age of Shakespeare Theatres 2a 3a
PR 2931-2933 Museums. Collections,etc. 0 2b
PR 2937-2961 Authorship. Sources 2a 2b
PR 2965-2979 Criticism. Interpretation General 2a 3a
PR 2981 Comedies 2a 3a
PR 2982 Histories 2b 3a
PR 2983 Tragedies 2a 3a
PR 2987 Study. Bibliography 2a 3a
PR 2989-2993 Characters 2b 3a
PR 2994-2997 Wit. Dramatic Art 2a 2b
PR 3000-3069 Treatment and Knowledge of Special Subjects 2a 3a
PR 3070-3071 Textural Criticism 2a 3a
PR 3072-3088 Language Style 2a 3a
PR 3091-3112 Dramatic Representation of Shakespeare's Plays 2a 3a
PR 5180-5184 Arthur Wing Pinero 1a 3a
PR 5232.R5 T. W. Robertson 0 3a
PR 5360-5368 Bernard Shaw 2a 3a
PR 6033.E282 Samuel Beckett 2a 3a
PR 6003.E417 Brendan Behan 0 3a
PR 6003.O474 Robert Bolt 0 3a
PR 6013.A5 John Galsworthy 1b 3a
PR 6013.O35B7 William Golding 1b 3a
PR 6019.O397 Denis Johnston 0 3a
PR 6019.O9 James Joyce 2b 3a
PR 6029.C33 Sean O'Casey 1a 3a
PR 8789 Irish Drama 1a 3a
PR 9343.E86 African Drama 0 3a
PR 9356.3 Union of South Africa Drama 0 3a
PS 330-351 American Drama 2b 3a
PS 623-635 Collections. Drama. American 1a 3a
PS 3501 Maxwell Anderson 1a 3a
PS 3515.A515 Lorraine Hansbery 1b 3a
PS 3515.E343 Lillian Hellman 2a 3a
PS 3517.N265 William Inge 2a 3a
PS 3525.I5156 Arthur Miller 2a 3a
PS 3551.L25 Edward Albee 2a 3a
PS 3529.N5 Eugene O'Neil 2a 3a
PS 3545.I345 Thornton Wilder 2a 3a
PS 3545.I5365 Tennessee Williams 2b 3a
PS 605-701 German Drama 1a 3a
PS 55 Handicrafts. Arts & Crafts (includes Costume Design) 1a 3a
Z 1231 Special Topics, A-Z (American Drama) 2a 3a
Z 2014 Special Topics, A-Z (English Drama) 1b 3a
Z 5781-5785 Drama. Theatre 1b 3a
Z 5784.S-.Z Other Special Topics 1b 3a
Z 6935 Performing Arts 1a 3a

 Rev. 2/17/1997, 8/26/2002, 1/19/2011 (jk)

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