General policies and principles for the Library's collections are stated in the General Collection Development Policy.

Purpose of the Collection

The UCSB Library drama and theater collections serve the Department of Theater and Dance, providing support for actor training and performance at the BFA level, and support for theater research and instruction through the PhD level. The theater collection also supports performing arts scholarship in other departments and programs across campus, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, as well as area, ethnic, and gender studies. In addition, the collection is frequently used by performers, teachers, researchers, and other campus visitors with an interest in theater.



Collecting areas include: theater history, reception, and criticism; ethnography; performance and production theory and practice; dramatic literature and criticism; production management and administration; design and technology.

Geographical Coverage

The core focus has been built around Western theater traditions, but the collection is growing to include global perspectives in parallel with teaching and research interests of the faculty.


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.

Chronological Limits/Period Coverage

From Antiquity to the present.

Publication Dates

Most materials are published in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Types of Materials Collected

The theater collection is comprised of print and electronic monographs, reference tools, video recordings, periodicals, and scholarly series. Conference proceedings are collected selectively. While a large percentage of content is exclusively published in print, reference tools, periodicals, edited volumes and anthologies are collected in electronic format when available. Dissertations are only acquired on demand. Textbooks are generally not acquired, unless requested by faculty.

Systemwide and Other Resources

UCSB collections serving dance and performing arts research benefit heavily from the library’s participation in serials and research databases that are licensed by UC's California Digital Library and funded by the UC campuses, including newspaper and performing arts literature databases.

UCSB Library Special Research Collections also stewards many archival collections related to the performing arts, including El Teatro Campesino Archives and the Asian American Theater Company Archives.

Related Collection Development Policies

Subject librarian: Leahkim Gannett
Policy Last Updated: June 2015