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International Performing Arts Resources

An introduction to researching music, theater, and dance from across the globe

Subject Headings

Subject headings are a combination of terms describing the contents of an item; every item within a database or catalog is assigned subject headings. Using these descriptor terms can help find like items of the same topic.

Example subject headings:

Performing arts -- Indonesia -- Periodicals

Russian drama -- 19th century -- History and Criticism

Music -- Brazil -- African influences

Puppet theater -- Japan

Piano music -- China -- 20th century

Most databases have an online thesaurus of its subject headings to browse. If not, search with keywords and phrases then click on an item to view its subject headings. Use these again in the search bar to find similar items. 

Request Materials

Is the item you want not available? Try these services:

Get This: have items delivered from other U-M libraries

Interlibrary Loan: deliver items not held by U-M or have small sections of items scanned

UBorrow: borrow physical items, not held by U-M, from participating institutions

Searching for Materials

Search U-M's catalog using U-M Library Search. The search tool can locate online journals, books, audio, subject specialists at U-M, search across the library website, and more.

Use the "Catalog" tab to search physical and electronic materials held within the U-M Library. The catalog holds material such as books, archival material, audio, video, online journals, and musical scores.

Likewise, use the "Database" tab to find open-access or U-M subscription-based databases. The "Online Journals" tab also locates open-access or U-M subscription-based journals, as well as newspapers, trade publications, magazines, and others.

When searching, joining keywords and phrases by AND, OR, or NOT can narrow your results. Placing phrases in quotations searches for items with that exact phrase rather than for each individual word within the phrase.

For example:

brazil AND dance AND "20th century" **

items with all three terms in them

brazil AND dance NOT "20th century"

items with "brazil" and "dance" in them, without "20th century" 

brazil OR dance 

items with "brazil," with "dance," and with "brazil" and "dance"

** Use "AND" for three or more keywords/phrases

The column on the left side of the page can further filter your search results by language, format, location, date, subject, academic discipline, and more.