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Actors Page: Researching the Time Period

This page is designed for actors, to help them develop the library skills they will need when researching a role. Using the proper research methods your visit to the library will be easier and more efficient.

Newspaper Sources


A place or collection containing records, documents, or other materials of historical interest.

Researching the Time Period

English: The Battle of Bosworth Field - A Scene from the Great Drama of History: John Leech's illustration of Gilbert Abbott À'Beckett's parodical criticism of the Victorian attitude towards history. Source:Image taken from BibliOdyssey: The Comic History of England. The drawing was first published in the The Comic History of England (1847–48).[1], Author: John Leech (1817(1817)–1864(1864))

Historical Databases

Use these databases to find information about actors, actresses, time period etc. Some go back as far as 1400!

Letters & Diaries/Oral Histories

A great place to find first hand information about actors, time periods etc.

Theatre and Performance Studies Primary Sources

Footage Access

Avery Fisher Center


Biography in Context

Excellent for Background Research

Here are several multi-volume sets that provide easy access to information about time periods in America and Europe.

Background Information in BobCat - Europe

To find similar information on Europe begin with an encyclopedia.  You can find them in the reference room, AE5 .E363, or use online ones by entering the titles, Britannica or Columbia encyclopedias in BobCat.  To access the history collections in BobCat enter:

History AND choose country

This will result in a collection of general histories being displayed.

To locate choronologies follow a similar method:

Chronology AND Europe

Credo Reference Online collection of dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographical sources, quotations, bilingual dictionaries, and measurement conversions covering topics from the arts to the sciences.