Theater Collection Development Policy


To support the scholarship of Theater faculty and students from the Department of Theater and Dance. Theater degree programs include a BA and a BFA in Theater, and an MA and a PhD in Theater Studies. The BA program offers concentrations in Design, Directing, Playwriting, Theater and Community, and Theater and Performance Studies, while the BFA program is designed to train professional actors. The core curriculum behind the MA and PhD are built on literature, history, theory and criticism of theatre and performance. The library’s Theater collection is built around these foci.

Although the primary mission of the collection is to support the Theater program, the collection also supports instruction and research relating to performing arts in other humanities and in the social science disciplines (particularly in area, ethnic and gender studies), and in other departments and units throughout the university. In addition, the collection is frequently used by performers, teachers, researchers, & other campus visitors with an interest in the performing arts.




Subject Areas: theater history, theory & criticism; performance repertory, theory and technique; production management, design & technology. Core focus is on the Western performing arts traditions from Antiquity to the present, but the collection is growing to include global perspectives in parallel with teaching and research interests of the faculty.

Language: Materials collected are primarily in English or English translation. Works written in other languages are also acquired depending on the availability of the items and research needs of faculty members.

Date of publication: Most materials selected for acquisition are published in the 20th and 21st centuries.




Theater researchers, scholars and performers use a wide array of materials in many types: print, visual, audio-visual, audio and electronic. The collection contains formats that best meet the varying needs of performance, production and historical studies.

Monographs & monographic series: in print from university, professional, popular (trade) and small presses; Exclusions: reprints are generally not acquired unless augmented, revised, or contain some other new intellectual material. Textbooks are not actively selected;

Videos, VHS, DVD & Streaming including documentaries, creative works, pedagogy, and commercial releases;

Journals and magazines of the academic, popular, professional & research serial literature;

Electronic resources (journals, monographs, indexes, abstracts, & text databases), are acquired as funding allows. Relevant electronic resources are acquired in collaboration with other collections; with the Humanities Interdisciplinary collection and/or in collaboration or as a result of consortial agreements with the UC Performing Arts Bibliographers Group and related consortiums, campuses through the California Digital Library or in collaboration with other librarians;

Primary Source materials and original documents that relate to performing arts are housed in the Davidson Library Special Collections Department. Additional archival collections with collection strengths in performing arts, including UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, UCLA, California State University (Chico) & the Getty Research Institute, can be accessed via the Online Archive of California (OAC).


Author: Leahkim Gannett, Theater & Dance librarian, leahkim [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu
Last Updated: May 2014