Skip to main content
* UC Irvine access only

Drama: Inspiration (Pictures, etc.)

Starting points for research in drama

Related Guides

Rather than recreate the wheel, you might find that the following guides created by the Visual Arts Librarian might be helpful to you:

Costume Design

Art Research

Image Databases

ARTstor * is a digital library with over one million images. Images are keyword searchable or can be browsed by geographic area, classification (e.g., decorative object, painting, fashion, etc.), and date.

Commercial Pattern Archive * provides thousands of different commercial clothing patterns originally published between 1868-2000.

Berg Fashion Library * is the only resource to provide integrated text and image content on world dress and fashion throughout history. Content includes bibliographic guides, the Berg Encyclopedia, e-books, and thousands of high quality of fashion images from many different cultures and time periods.

AP Images * provides images that have been used in the Associated Press (AP) since 1844. Excellent for finding pictures of historical events, people in context, and stock photography.

The Vogue Archive * : every issue of Vogue (US edition) from its start in 1892. Fully indexed. Full color. Beautiful!

Victoria and Albert Museum has one of the largest fashion and design collections in the world. Many different photos of their collections of architecture, ceramics, design styles, fashion furniture, jewelry, textiles, and theatrical designs are available on their site.

Luna Commons provides access to almost 400,000 unique digital images from many different collections throughout the world.  Different collections focus on different topics and can provide inspiration for many different types of design. Noteworthy collections include: Architecutre and Urban Planning, Catena-Historic Gardens and Landscapes Archives, and Pratt Institute Fashion Plate Collection, but make sure and browse or search the other collections for many different pictures of objects from all over the world.

Museum of the City of New York Collections Portal has over 150,000 images from their collections digitized and freely available for scholarly purposes. Approximately 15,000 of these images (as of March, 2015) are directly related to theatrical productions in New York during the 20th century. Pictures run the complete range from production stills to buildings.

Physical Books

Search SUBJECT headings in ANTPAC (materials held locally) or MELVYL (materials at other UC libraries and beyond) to find books about a particular concept. Note that each of these main subject headings can be subdivided down many ways including by geographic location, time period, and sub-genres.

Clothing and Dress - used for utilitarian clothing

Costume - used for clothing created for stage/screen/etc. or that was created as an artistic object

Fashion - used for style

Interior Decoration

Stage Lighting

Theaters Stage Setting and Scenery