Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Theatre Arts : Search Tips

An overview library resources and freely available online resources relevant to Theatre Arts.

This page provides some tips around searching for resources, from very specific searches to broad searches.

The search continuum. Left hand side is very specific, the right hand side is broad. From Left to Right: (1) Search by title, author, artist (2) Multiple keyword search (3) Single keyword search (4) Browse by Subject Heading or Call Number

Keyword Search

When searching for resources, sometimes you know the exact title, author or artist. Other times you'll search by keyword or combinations of keywords.

Keyword Search
When you do a keyword search, FindIt will retrieve results that contain that keyword anywhere within that resource record (or even from within the resource itself if it is a digital resource). This often means you’ll retrieve a large number of resources. Keyword searches are great if you have a specific term in mind. Combining keywords will often create searches that are more specific.

Subject Headings

How can you browse when you don't know exactly what it is you're looking for? 

You can browse this in a couple of ways: by subject heading or by call numbers (only applicable to print books and physical library resources). Remember you can filter these results even further in order to make your search more specific.

Subject Headings

Each resource is usually given a series of subject headings. Think of them as tags, but tags that have been carefully chosen by librarians to ensure accuracy. Longer subject headings usually denote a more specific topic.

Subject headings are often hyperlinked in the FindIt results, so once you find one relevant resource, it’s to find other related content. You can also search FindIt by subject too, meaning you’re not relying on whether an author has used a particular keyword.

Here are some broad subject headings:

Acting -- Auditions
Acting -- Technique

Acting -- Study and teaching

Acting -- Vocational guidance

Method (Acting)

Movement (Acting)
Performing arts -- Acting & Auditioning

Performing arts -- Studying and teaching

Theater -- Production and direction

Theater -- Study and teaching

Call Numbers

Items in the library are shelved according to call numbers so that related materials are kept together. Visual arts are found within 700-780. Each successive number indicates a more specific level (for example, 700 = Arts, 790 = Decorative arts, Recreational and performing arts, 792 = Stage presentations). The below table will give you an idea of where to look for specific visual arts topics:

Call Numbers

391 Costume

700-709 The Arts

700.68 Arts management

703 Dictionaries & encyclopedias

709 Specific artists, areas, historical periods

750-759 Painting 
750 Painting & paintings  

759 Historical, areas, specific artists 

770-779 Photography 
770 Photography & photographs  

777 Cinematography and Videography 

779 Photographs (specific artists etc) 


790-799 Recreational and performing arts 
791.3 Circus
792.0233 Directing
792 Stage presentations
792.024 Theatre sound
792.025 Stage design/lighting/scenery 
792.028 Acting
792.03 Dictionaries & encyclopedias
792.07 Drama
792.3 Mime
792.7 Cabaret/vaudeville
793.8 Juggling

800 Literature, rhetoric and criticism
808.2 Playwriting/scriptwriting
A822.3 Plays, Australian
822.33 Shakespeare

Using FindIt

The below video takes you through the basics of using FindIt, Melbourne Polytechnic library's discovery tool: