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III. Policies: Theatre and Dance (Performing Arts)

  • Subject name: Theatre and Dance (Performing Arts)
  • Subject abbreviations: THE
  • Bibliographer: Skip Hamilton
  • Other subject responsibilities: English and American Literature, Film Studies
  • Address: 184 UCB, Reference & Instructional Services
  • Phone: 303-492-2987
  • Email: Skip.Hamilton@colorado.edu

I. Purpose:

The Collection for the Theatre and Dance area of the Performing Arts reflects the curricular, research, and performance needs of the Department of the Theatre and Dance of the University of Colorado, Boulder. The program for this department combines traditional studies in these areas as practical training. The department also supports an ambitious calendar of Theatrical Productions and Dance Concerts heavily utilizing not only students, but faculty members as well. While the department is concerned with the theory and practice of production and performance, its resources also must reflect the dramatic materials and cultural practices in which these performances and productions reside. Such considerations expand the range of materials needed for fulfilling the priorities of the collection’s development. The collection also supports and draws on, though at varying levels and degrees, research and teaching in the following academic departments or programs: Modern Languages and Literatures; Classics; Ethnic (or Minority) Studies; Gay Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies; Art and Art History; English and American Literature; History; Linguistics; Philosophy; Religious Studies; and Women Studies.

A. Curricular emphasis:

Please see Section C, below.


B. Research emphasis:
Research interests cover all of the above curricular interests as well as being interdisciplinary. Current developments in social science theories inform many areas of research; therefore, selected materials supporting such research will be obtained.


C. Level of Degrees granted:

1. Theatre


Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts

The B.A. degree in Theatre is the traditional degree offering an overview of theatre history and criticism while also educating and training the student in theatre management, directing, costuming, acting and stagecraft. Performance Theory is also a developing area for degree instruction. The B.F.A. is designed for a limited number of talented students who are interested in a performing career.


Master of Arts

The M.A. degree is a graduate degree which offers students two plans for completion. Plan I includes the traditional research thesis, Plan II requires a narrative and/or analytical project for completion. Both these degrees require classes that train in research techniques expected for this level of accomplishment.



The University of Colorado, Boulder’s Ph.D. in Theatre is a research degree but does include a major component on theatrical production. Thus, collections must reflect the information needs for components of each area of the degree. CU’s PhD in Theatre is the only Theatre PhD offered in the state of Colorado.


2. Dance


B.A. and B.F.A.

Both degrees are designed to prepare the student for more than just a career in performance. Courses for each degree are purposely designed to go beyond the conservatory approach. Thus, they have substantive history, research, and theoretical components. This broader curricular approach affects collection development decisions.



This degree in dance is typically seen as the final degree for individuals going into performance as well as for those wishing to teach in academic dance and performing arts undergraduate and graduate programs. As such, dance graduates with this degree need to be acquainted with the research process and the writing styles associated with graduate work at the academic level.

D. Special Studies. (Please see sections: 1. Introduction, 1.A, 1.E, and 1.F.)


E. Other Subjects/Interests That Overlap and Utilize Materials:

Four Library Departments or Collections, (Rare Books/ Special Collections, Media, Art and Architecture, and Music), contain subject areas of mutual collecting concerns. Expensive items of critical worth to both collections are appropriate as shared expenses. Items which will be housed in branch libraries, but are more relevant for purchase by Theatre and Dance, will always receive serious consideration.


F. Institutes or Labs That Utilize Materials:

The following institutes, centers or programs would find use for materials found in this collection: The Alliance for Technology, Learning, and Society Institute; The Center for British and Irish Studies, The Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in America, The Center for Humanities and the Arts; The Center for Multicultural Affairs, The Center of the American West, The Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Therefore, information supporting the work of these groups will be considered for the collection.

G. Special Populations Outside University That Utilize Materials:

Materials are heavily used by Interlibrary Loan; public and private school teachers, students, and personnel; and by public patrons of the area and of the state.


H. Other Considerations:

Due to priorities of the Theatre and Dance Programs, the collection will only provide elementary coverage of Children’s Theatre, Folk Dance, and Recreational Dance.


Drama may be generally considered the literary study of theatrical materials, particular scripts. Therefore, dramatic materials will often be purchased on Literature Funds.


Some little-used materials are housed in PASCAL, the library storage facility.

II. General Collection Guidelines:

A. Methods of Acquiring Materials:
Requests from faculty and graduate students will be given priority. Additional materials will be obtained through approval plan for books from Blackwell North American, selection from reviews, catalog orders. Gifts-in-kind will be selectively accepted based on the needs of the collection. Other patron requests will be considered if, in the opinion of the bibliographer, they fulfill the goals of this collection development statement.


B. Languages:
All primary works in some stage or form of the English language will be considered. English will be the predominant language of secondary materials, but French and German will also be found in the collection. Other Romance Languages, such as Scandinavian and Slavic, and Eastern Asian Languages will be considered if the item is of major critical importance.


C. Chronological Guidelines:

Current materials are emphasized, but of necessity, collection interests cover the entire span of performance from the beginning humankind and its cultures.


D. Geographical Guidelines:
Theatre and Dance in the United States is the area of primary interest with the Theatre and Dance of Great Britain having a very strong secondary interest. Materials on the Theatre and Dance of Germany, France, Japan, Italy, and the Eastern Bloc countries along with world theatre will also be collected.


E. Treatment of Subject:

1. For all areas of Theatre, the necessary primary (literary, historical, theoretical, statistical, etc), secondary (monographs, journals, conference proceedings, technical reports, working papers, etc.) will be obtained. All bibliographic, and reference sources (handbooks, encyclopedias, indexes, dictionaries, etc.) are considered essential.


2. For dance, primary published sources such as personal histories will be purchased. Secondary materials will be the focus of the collection with the emphasis on Modern Dance. Popular fan monographs and magazines usually are not considered unless it is determined that such publications have academic merit.



3. The Martha Faure Carson Dance Collection now housed in the University of Denver Library will be considered the research collection for Dance in the Area. This Library will collect all bibliographical, reference, core, and research materials needed for the specific program and research needs of the Dance wing of the Department of Theatre and Dance.

F. Types (Formats) of Materials:

1. Books, monographic series, and periodicals in hard copy account for most materials collected. Acquisitions of CD ROM resources should only be pursued if the information, or its organization, is not available in any other format.


2. Because the work in these disciplines sees its fruition in performance, recordings of these performances are essential informational resources. By arrangement with the Dance Wing, each year a specific segment of its funds will be designated for such purchases with selections solicited from the Dance Faculty.


Recordings need to be purchased in any format available, but the format must be supported by the equipment found in the Library’s media center. The most current equipment supported media is preferred, currently DVD’s and video tapes. However, other formats may be purchased particularly if they can be transferred to a supported format.


3. Duplicate holdings of imprints are discouraged. Retrospective purchasing of previous editions of titles already held in the collection is discouraged unless determined to have high and additional scholarly value. New editions generally are collected only when they contain significant new/revised content.


4. If funds allow, rare books and other rare materials may be acquired if there is a programmatic or collection need. Location of such items will be determined by the policies currently in practice in the library.

  • Translations of important works from their original language into English are generally acquired.
  • Textbooks and readers intended for class use are not collected unless determined to be of long-term value to the collection.

G. Date of Publication:
Please see II. C. above.

H. Other General Considerations:
The majority of the collection is located in the Norlin Library stacks and Periodicals Room. Major reference works are located in the Reference Department, and some rare materials are housed in Special Collections. In general, lesser-used materials with adequate intellectual access are in off-site storage (PASCAL).

III. Observations and Qualifications by Subject and LC Class:
Below is a very general outline for the LC classes for Theatre and Dance. Relevant materials may be classified in many of these locations.


GV – 1580 - 1799

Performing Arts, Drama, Etc.

PN 1560 – PN 3300

Scripts and Works on Dramatists / Playwrights will be found within the LC Country literature classifications. The most relevant will be:


PA - Classical language and literature. (Latin and Greek)


PM - American and Mixed Languages


PN - Literary Types (poetry, drama, film, etc), History and Collections (General)


PR - English Literature


PS - American Literature


Z8001.A1 to 8997.95 - Bibliographies of individuals, including playwrights and dramatists.