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Starting points for research in drama

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Lighting Design

***Remember to turn on UCI's VPN to access any of the digital resources from UCI Libraries if you're not on campus/connected to the campus network. More information here:***

Looking to learn more about lighting design? Maybe want a comprehensive refresh on basics? Or perhaps view the designs and lighting plots from professional shows? Following are a few resources that might interest you:

  • The Lighting Archive is developing a collection of actual plots, focus charts, and cue sheets form real shows. Explore materials from a variety of historical and contemporary designers working in theater, dance, and opera productions. Includes materials like Tom Skelton's work with the American Dance Festival; Natasha Katz on A Chorus Line; Jules Fisher on Hair; Donald Holder on The Lion King; and more.
  • Theatrical Lighting Database contains plots, focus charts, cue sheets, and more from four landmark productions digitized from the New York Public Library. 

A few (of many) resources from UCI Libraries include:


Page created by Scott Stone, Research Librarian for Performing Arts. Always feel free to reach out if you have any questions about resources on this page or if you'd like additional assistance exploring beyond what are listed here:

Graphic Design

Artstor has images from all over the world and across history. The following link is a search to all of their images that they have classified as "Graphic Design and Illustration." This is going to be overwhelming! But you can use the limits on the left side of the screen to narrow the results down to particular time periods and locations. Be sure to click on images that catch your eye because you can see additional information about it.

UCI Libraries has a plethora of both physical and digital books on graphic design covering both theory, as well as more practical books focused on examples of the art form. Here's selected books to help pique your interest. If you find a physical book, be sure to look at the surrounding books on the shelf to find other similar books (or scroll down to the bottom of the library record and explore the "Virtual Browse" section to digitally browse the shelves).

Art Movements

There are too many books to point out in UCI Libraries that give overviews of major art movements! Use the following few as starting points to learn where to visit in the library and potentially flip through others nearby:

You can also do some informed browsing (on the fourth floor and also in the oversize section in the basement of Langson Library) by understanding how books are cataloged. Call numbers not only tell us where a book is on the shelf, but it also gives us information about the subject matter. Here's very basic information related to art. If the call number begins with... then it means it is about...

  • N - general visual arts
  • NA - architecture
  • NB - sculpture
  • NC - drawing, design, and illustration
  • ND - painting
  • NE - print media
  • NK - decorative arts
  • NX - everything else that doesn't neatly fall into the above categories :)

Images (Digital)

Artstor is the go-to online resource to view images of art from all over the world and from history. They have curated some excellent overview collections to easily discover highlights of art from various times and places. Try exploring some of the following collections:

Information and Context (Digital)

Grove Art Online is an excellent, authoritative resource to learn about people, places, and movement in art history. Like most encyclopedias, it's sometimes easiest to explore by searching for a specific term/person, but they've also created some helpful timelines to assist you in quickly learning about major art developments throughout history and the world. Along with these timelines, they've also created some specialized subject guides to help you dive into selected major art movements. Try exploring: