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| University Libraries
See Updates and FAQs for the latest library services updates. Subject Librarians are available for online appointments, and Virtual Reference has extended hours.


Digital Books

The Mason Search bar is a great place to look for digital theatrical resources, including ebooks. These ebooks include plays, criticism, theory, history, and practice. In order to find the books availible online, search for your terms and then filter your search on the left to "Available Online."

Read Printed Books and Reference Works

The printed collection includes thousands of circulating books on theater history, performance, biography, genres, styles, and theory/analysis, as well as reference works such as encyclopedias, indexes, bibliographies, and reviews.

Search Mason Library's collection to find specific books by title, author, keyword, or subject heading.

Books about theater theory, performance, craft, and history are predominantly on the 4th floor in the PN section.

The scripts are mixed in with the general literature by country, era, and author (PA - PT).

A small number of non-circulating theatrical rarities (such as theatrical records, programs, posters, and scripts) are located in the Special Collections Research Center at Fenwick Library.

Don't forget to look in the Reference and Folio Sections on the first floor of the Fenwick Library. They house hidden theatrical treasures, including includes such gems as New York Times Reviews throughout history, Variety's obituaries, and large books of theatrical designs.

Quick Guide to Theater Call Numbers

The Library of Congress classification system is built for academic, rather than practical use, so books that are useful to theater artists are in various places throughout the collection.

Theatrical Design (PN 2085-PN 2091)

  • Costume Design
    • GT 500-GT 2289: Costumes (History) - 3rd Floor Compact Shelves
    • GT 2290-GT 2341: Hair, cosmetics (History) - 3rd Floor Compact Shelves
    • GT 1747: Masks (History) - 3rd Floor Compact Shelves
    • NK 8802-NK8998: Textile arts (History) - 4th Floor Compact Shelves
    • PN 2068: Make-up - 4th Floor Compact Shelves
    • TS 545-TT850: Costumes -- Construction - 5th Floor
  • Set Design
    • NA: Architecture - 4th Floor
    • ND 2885: Scene painting - 4th Floor
    • PN 2091.S8: Stage settings; scenery - 4th Floor
  • Lighting Design
    • PN 2091.E4: Electric devices; stage lighting - 4th Floor
  • Sound Design
    • PN 2091.S6: Sound Design - 4th Floor

Performance (PN2000-3307)

  • PN 2053: Production, Direction, and Dramaturgy - 4th Floor
  • PN 2061-PN 2071: Acting - 4th Floor
    • PN 2080: Scenes and Monologue Collections - 4th Floor
  • PN 2085: Stage Management - 4th Floor


  • PN1660-1693: Technique of dramatic composition -4th Floor

Theory and Education

  • PN2049: Theater and society. Applied drama - 4th Floor

Theater History (PN2101- PN2277)

  • By Era
    • PN 2131-PN 2145: Ancient Theatre History - 4th Floor
    • PN 2152-PN 2160: Medieval theatre history - 4th Floor
    • PN 2171-PN 2179: Renaissance theatre history - 4th Floor
    • PN 2181-PN 2193: Modern theatre history - 4th Floor
  • By Country
    • PN2219.3-3030: Special regions or countries - 4th Floor

Special Topics (PN3035-PN3299)

  • PN3035: The Jewish theater - 4th Floor
  • PN3151-3171: Amateur theater - 4th Floor
  • PN3175-3191: College and school theatricals - 4th Floor
  • PN3203-3299: Tableaux, pageants, "Happenings," etc. - 4th Floor

Scripts (see Scripts page)

Borrow Books Beyond Mason

If we don't have the book you're looking for, expand your search beyond Mason Libraries.

The WRLC (Washington Research Library Consortium)

We have seven regional partner libraries in DC, and Mason patrons may borrow circulating music books (and scores) from any partner-- without physically visiting. Search our shared WRLC catalog; when you find the record for the book you want, click the red REQUEST button and it will be delivered to Fenwick for your pickup in three days. Here's the link: WRLC Catalog. (But in order to make this work, stop first at a Mason Libraries service desk with your Mason card and ask to be added to the WRLC user-base.)


WorldCat is a giant catalog of the holdings of thousands of libraries, mostly in the USA. Use this when looking for music books not held by local libraries- it will let you know if some other library in the country owns it. Here's the link: WorldCat Advanced Search 
You can't request a book directly from one of these libraries; instead, submit an interlibrary loan request via our "ILLiad" interface; here's the link: ILLiad. It could be up to two weeks (or more) before your book arrives, depending on location of the lender. You'll get an email when it is ready for pickup.