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Dance Research Guide: Finding journal articles and other research materials in databases

a guide to outstanding dance resources for research and enrichment

Finding articles and more on topics

If you're looking for material on a topic, and the material can be from any journal or other scholarly source, the Library's subscription databases are excellent tools.  If the library doesn't have the specific journal you need, Interlibrary Loan is an option, or you can visit another area library by using a TexShare cardMore on finding articles on topics

...below are databases that are especially useful for dance topics.

International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance - full-text journals, books and monographs. Direct links to journal issues, articles, books and book chapters are available. Coverage dates: 1929 - present. More specifics about content can be found by selecting IBTD at the EBSCO Host website.

Performing Arts Periodicals Database - formerly the International Index to the Performing Arts, PAD offers scholarly and popular performing arts periodicals, including at least 20 journals specific to dance, and indexes documents such as biographical profiles, conference papers, obituaries, interviews, reviews and events. Coverage dates: 1864 - current. Examples of the dance-related titles indexed in IIPA include: American Journal of Dance Therapy, Attitude: The Dancers' Magazine, Dance International, Dance Magazine, Dance Now, Dance Research, Dance Research Journal, Dance Theatre Journal, Dance/USA Journal, and Dancing Times. In addition, IIPA has the complete text of articles online for Dance Chronicle, Dance Teacher Now, and Danceview.  As an option, PAD has a  specialized search page designed to search The Arts, which covers material in the Music Periodicals database in addition. 

Academic Search Ultimate - scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines, videos, and trade publications covering multiple subjects. Coverage dates: 1887 – present. Journals include Dance Chronicle, Dance Magazine, Dance Research, New Dance Review, Research in Dance Education, and Performing Arts Journal.

Dance Online: Dance Studies Collection - reference works, images, magazines, journals, and primary sources such as dance notation, research notes, and correspondence. Coverage dates as of June 2022: 1920-2019. This collection is related to Dance Online: Dance in Video, which includes performance, interview, coaching, and other video selections.

Performance Design Archive - published and primary source content covering all aspects of theater production design, 1600 - present, including scenic and set design, lighting design, sound design, costume design, makeup and more.  

Worldcat - all the records cataloged by libraries worldwide. Searchable formats can include: books, computer programs, films and slides, journals and magazines, articles, chapters and papers, manuscripts, maps, music scores, newspapers, sound recordings, and videotapes. Worldcat can specifically search the TCU Library catalog (click the "Items in my library" box to do that), and the contents of other selected libraries as well. For any item record, the "Libraries" tab can be clicked to see which libraries have the item--the libraries nearest to TCU will be at the top. Items from distant libraries can sometimes be borrowed via Interlibrary Loan - use the OCLC number from the Worldcat record to expedite your request.

ERIC - this database from the Education Resource Information Center, U.S. Dept. of Education is the premier national database of education literature, including journal articles, books, theses, curriculi, conference papers, and book reviews. Coverage dates: 1966 - present. Though it's available via two additional  interfaces, ERIC/EBSCO and ERIC FirstSearch, the Education Resource Information Center's own interface seems most user-friendly.

Health Research Premium Collection (ProQuest) - current health-related information, including clinical research, public health, standards and more. Primarily scholarly, with general interest included.

Gale OneFile Health and Medicine - formerly Health Reference Center Academic, this user-friendly database has a surprising amount of dance-related content, and offers an amazing array of document types, including video.  If you're doing a subject browse (choosing from the list of topics), Dance, Performance Art, Physical Fitness and Strengthening are good sample browses.  A Subject Guide search for dance therapy is also useful. To do some sample searches, select Advanced search and choose "subject" from the drop-down box, entering dance health aspects or dance therapy.

Finding specific publications and articles

If you need to find a specific article from a citation, try the "Advanced Search" option in FrogScholar (FrogScholar is the first search box option on the Library's home page).  Simply enter the details in the appropriate spaces.  You may also want to select "Items with full text online."  More about finding specific articles and publications

Click to see how to browse the TCU Library's dance journal collection.

Finding articles and more on topics, continued

Dance Education Literature and Research descriptive index (DELRdi) - from the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) and US Department of Education, DELRdi is an easy-to-use index of literature and research from 1926 to the present that informs teaching, learning, and future directions of research in the field of dance education. NDEO offers a free version linked above, containing just citations for the theses, dissertations, journal articles, conference proceedings and other reports from over 200+ different publications and organizations and 147 university dance programs.  Books may not be  included at this point but relevant chapters from books may be.  The paid - $850 per year - version contains extensive descriptions of 4,500+ literary works including detailed information on the methodology, techniques, and characteristics of the research documented in the index.  Full text is being added slowly.  A tutorial is available, with a PDF version).

Journal and other titles found in DELRdi can be searched for in the TCU Library catalog and, if needed, the Worldcat database in order to find a means of access to the material.

New York Public Library Dance Collection Catalog - listed as "Dance Collection Catalog" in the TCU Library's Databases list, the New York Public Library has a comprehensive collection of dance-related materials.  While it has an in-house, sometimes "circulating" collection, the Dance division's digital dance collections are becoming more extensive. The NYPL "legacy" ("classic") catalog is a useful means of access to many of the materials; the new research catalog, with an advanced search, is also an option.  Try selecting "Circulating" from the "Classic Catalog" Collection drop-down list for items that might possibly be obtainable through Interlibrary Loan. (Don't wait till the night before your paper is due, since shipping books across the country takes time.) The search selection most of interest to serious dance researchers is the "Dance Research Collection," a search option located toward the end of the Collection list (which is not strictly in alphabetical order).  To expand the search possibilities, use Advanced Search.  Additional catalog search pointers are in NYPL's Dance Research Guide.

While most items must be used at NYPL, some items may be available directly via the main web page for the Dance Division, which introduces its most important archival dance sub-collections.  There's a special search page for archival materials and an information page, Using the Dance Archives.   For immediate access to materials, don't miss NYPL's digital gallery of arts collections available online, including Dance in Photographs and Prints, and the digital gallery for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division.