The following guide is intended to provide an overview of some of the resources available in the library and online for American Music Theater studies. For further research assistance, please take advantage of the reference services available to you in the Geisel Library. Stop by the Reference Desk in person or online at Ask a Librarian.
The reference librarians have created a group of web pages named Research Help designed to help teach you the basics of library research and to introduce you to Geisel Library. Please take advantage of this resource.
Reference books are shelved by Library of Congress call number in the reference stacks near the reference desk. They may not be checked out, but photocopiers are available on the lower level of the Library. Online reference sources can be found in the library catalog, or listed on E-Reference Resources.
Bibliographical Handbook of American Music
Ref ML120 .U5 K78
Literature of American Music
Ref ML120 .U5 H7
Music Reference and Research Materials
Ref ML113 .D83 1997
The American Musical
New Harvard Dictionary of Music
Ref ML100 .N485 2003
Oxford Dictionary of Music
Ref ML100 .K35
Dictionary of Musical Quotations
Ref Ml66 .C86
Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians
Ref ML105 .B16
The American Musical
Ref ML128.M78 S86 2000
New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
Ref ML100 .N48
MusicHound Soundtracks: the Essential Album Guide to Film, Television and Stage Music
Ref ML156.9 .M87 2000
Terms and History
The American Musical Theatre Song Encyclopedia
Ref ML102.M88 H59 1995
New Grove Dictionary of American Music
Ref ML101.U6 N48 1986
New Oxford History of Music
Ref ML160 .N44
The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre
Subject Headings Suggestions for searching the Catalog:
The following Library of Congress subject headings are relevant to Musical Theater:
- Musical theater
- Popular music
- Broadway (New York, N.Y.)
- Music and literature - History - 20th century
- Art and Music - History - 20th century
Keyword suggestions for searching the Catalog:
- Musical comedy
- Popular songs
- Names of composers, producers, and top performers
Use the * (asterisk) as a truncation symbol to retrieve variant forms of a word root. Use the Boolean OR to expand your search by including synonyms and related terms. When using two different Boolean commands in the same search statement ("and" and "or" in the preceding examples) you must include parentheses to indicate which command is to be performed first.
Some recommended General Collection books found using Subject and Keyword searches in the catalog:
The World of Musical Comedy
ML1711 .G74 1984
Rodgers & Hammerstein
ML410.R3615 M7 1992
The Broadway Musical
ML2054 .S93 2002
ML3477 .F75 2002
If you are unable to locate materials in the Geisel Library Catalog, search libraries worldwide using WorldCat.
Contains the largest selection of Music periodicals of any of Geisel Library's online resources. See Title List by Discipline: Music.
Similar to the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, "this multidisciplinary database provides full text for nearly 1,950 general reference publications with full text information dating as far back as 1975. Covering virtually every subject area of general interest, MasterFILE Premier also includes 316 full text reference books, 88,000 biographies, 83,500 primary source documents, and an image collection of 107,000 photos, maps and flags. This database is updated daily via EBSCOhost."
Academic Search Premier
Gain access to full-text as well as indexing and abstracting for a wide range of journal titles covering business, social sciences, humanities, general science, and education.
America: History and Life
Provides abstracts to journal articles, book/media reviews, and dissertations with a focus on United States and Canadian history and culture from prehistoric times to the present. (1964-present) Journal List (PDF/59KB)
Arts & Humanities Citation Index
Provides indexing to the world's leading arts and humanities journals and selections from social science and science journals. Includes articles, bibliographies, editorials, letters, and reviews. (1980-present)
New York Times
"The New York Times (1851-2001) offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue." Includes the fabulous Theater section!
Find full-text newspaper articles from local, national and international papers. Gain access to full-text law reviews as well as company news and financial information, medical information, laws and regulations, polls and surveys, and general reference information. Historical information on the New York City theater scene.
Internet Broadway database
Official archival database for Broadway theater information. Features information on current and past productions in the Broadway theaters of New York City, including production statistics, dates, cast, crew and creative staff credits, roles, and related facts.
"The Cyber Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre, TV and Film." Broad-based website with historical and biographical information, reviews, essays, blogs, indexes, and even how to put on a Broadway musical. Created and maintained by John Kenrick. Contents are under copyright protection.
Broadway 101, History of the Great White Way
Historical information on the New York City theater scene PBS series includes information on 4 prominent Broadway figures: Jerome Robbins, George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers.
PBS series website includes information on 4 prominent Broadway figures: Jerome Robbins, George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers. Be sure to check out the section for teachers for extra in-depth information.
Broadway: The American Musical
PBS series website has sections entitled: Hello Broadway, Stars over Broadway, Broadway Milestones, Memeorable Musicals, and Broadway stories. Includes online interviews and teacher resources (especially web resources and print resources).
The websites below are only representative of a plethora of information on the web. Wikipedia features comprehensive articles on many of the artists, but always confirm your information, as you should for any non-academic internet resource.
Rodgers & Hammerstein
at the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization
Alan Jay Lerner
at Songwriters Hall of Fame
at the Shubert Organization
Writing About Music by Richard Wingell ML 3797.W54 2002
Music Research: a Handbook by Laurie J. Sampsel Ref ML113 .S28 2009
A Short Guide to Writing about Music by Jonathan Bellman ML3797 .B4 2007