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Newspapers & Reviews

Newspapers and other review sources

The resources listed below are a selection of options for where you might be able to find theatrical reviews. Reviews can also often be found in book collections and journal articles and you will need to be creative in your searching.  

Important things to keep in mind when searching newspapers:

  • Look carefully at their descriptions to help you identify coverage date ranges.  
  • When searching in the databases it helps to specify date ranges, especially if you are searching a historical newspaper. So for example if you are looking for a review of a specific play in the Historical New York Times, you should limit the date range to the year in which the play opened to ensure you get useful articles rather than every article related to that play that has been published in the over 200 years of records they have available. 
  •  When searching historical newspapers be aware of the language you are using. The algorithms search for words in the newspaper, rather than concepts, so using modern terminology for something from the 1800s may not work. 

 Newspapers & Reviews

  ABI/INFORM Complete (ProQuest)
The most comprehensive ABI/INFORM™ database, this comprises ABI/INFORM Global, ABI/INFORM Trade and Industry, and ABI/INFORM Dateline. The database features thousands of full-text journals, dissertations, working papers, key business and economics periodicals, country-and industry-focused reports.

  African American Newspapers: The 19th Century (Accessible Archives)
Includes the complete text of major 19th century African American newspapers such as The Christian Recorder (1861-1902), Freedom's Journal (1827-1829), The North Star (1847-1851), and Frederick Douglass' Paper (1851-1863).

  America’s Historical Newspapers: 1690-1922 (Readex)
A digital collection of early American newspapers from 1690 to 1922, that includes the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1860-1920.

  British Periodicals Collection I (ProQuest)
The database consists of more than 160 journals spanning the late 17th through early 20th centuries, and covering a range of topics such as literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts and the social sciences. This resource has facsimile page images and searchable full text for nearly 500 British periodicals published.

  Burney Collection Newspapers: Seventeenth-Eighteenth Century (Gale)
Explore the early history of the English newspaper. Learn about the English Civil War, the Restoration and 18th century political and cultural developments.“The newspapers, pamphlets, and books gathered by the Reverend Charles Burney (1757-1817) represent the largest and most comprehensive collection of early English news media. The present digital collection, that helps chart the development of the concept of ‘news’ and ‘newspapers’ and the “free press,” totals almost 1 million pages and contains approximately 1,270 titles. Many of the Burney newspapers are well known, but many pamphlets and broadsides also included have remained largely hidden. Newly digitized, all Burney treasures are now fully text-searchable.

  Civil War: A Newspaper Perspective (Accessible Archives)
Contains full-text of more than 11,000 articles from over 2500 issues of both Northern and Southern newspapers published between Nov. 1, 1860 and Apr. 30, 1865. Contains news articles, eye-witness and official reports of battles, editorials, advertisements, biographies and over 700 images of battlefield maps and illustrations.

  Ethnic NewsWatch (ProQuest)
A comprehensive full text database of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press.

  Gale NewsVault
Gale NewsVault delivers the definitive cross-searching experience for exploring Gale's range of historical newspaper and collections. Users can simultaneously search or browse across multiple products owned by their institution, including: 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers; 19th Century British Library Newspapers, Parts I and II; 19th Century UK Periodicals, Series I: New Readerships; 19th Century UK Periodicals, Series II: Empire; 19th Century U.S. Newspapers; Financial Times Historical Archive 1888-2006; Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842-2003; Times Digital Archive 1785-1985; and Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive 1902-2005.

  Hathi Trust
Millions of books online. Books published up until 1923 are freely available online. Use the library's catalog or the EZ-Borrow catalog for access to later publications.

  Historical New York Times: 1851- (ProQuest)
The New York Times is a unique full-image archive that brings you the entire historical run of The New York Times, in-depth coverage of science and politics. It offers complete coverage from 1851 to the present with the exception of the most current three years. Includes classified ads, comics and cartoons, photos, maps, graphics, etc., editorials and commentary.

  Lexis Nexis Academic
Will be replaced by Nexis Uni, Sept 30, 2017Provides full-text access to a wide range of news (national, international, regional, business, legal, and foreign language), business (company financial news and information, accounting, auditing & tax information, industry and market news), and legal (law reviews, federal case law, state legal research) sources. It also features news transcripts, the U.S. Code, Constitution & Court rules, state and country profiles, medical abstracts, and reference & directory sources.
"LexisNexis online services and the materials contained therein are under copyright by LexisNexis. All rights reserved. No part of these Services may be used except for research purposes, and the Services may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the LexisNexis Academic Library Solutions. Materials retrieved from the Services may not be duplicated in hard copy or machine-readable form without the prior written authorization of LexisNexis Academic & Library Solutions, except that limited reproduction of output is permitted solely for individual use by the Authorized User or internal distribution within the Subscribing Institution in accordance with the terms of this Agreement unless further limited or prohibited by the Copyright Act of 1976. Under no circumstances may the Materials or any portion thereof be used to create derivative products or services."

  Literature Criticism from 1400-1800 (Gale)
Turn to this authoritative international resource for complete critical coverage of the careers and works of the greatest writers and thinkers of the late Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Restoration eras. Detailed entries offer students and other researchers access to a variety of important interpretations of historical periods, literary trends and topics, and the achievements of noteworthy individuals. Provides full-text or excerpted criticism reproduced from books, magazines, literary reviews, newspapers and scholarly journals.

  Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism (Gale)
Coverage includes profiles of literary figures who died between 1800 and 1899 by providing full-text or excerpted criticism taken from books, magazines, literary reviews, newspapers and scholarly journals. Reprints also available from Literature Resource Center.

  Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals (Gale)
Access the enormous range of nineteenth-century periodical literature (1800-1900). Of interest to historians and students of nineteenth-century literature and culture, empire, feminism, the history of the book, the creative and performing arts, sport and leisure, science and medicine, the professions, in short, of all aspects of nineteenth-century life that the press encompassed.

  North American Theatre Online (Alexander Street Press)
Includes more than 40,000 pages of important reference sources in electronic format, indexed and searchable along with all the other content. O’Dell’s Annals of the New York Stage, the Oxford University Press Companion series, and Greenwood’s American Theatre Companies series are just a few of the many in-copyright sources. Also, in-depth records cover tens of thousands of plays, including many previously unpublished works by major authors—not only major and known plays, but also partial works, works that have never been performed, and works that were believed lost, providing researchers with unique and never-before-seen information. Related resources include thousands of playbills, posters, photographs, and related theatrical ephemera.

  Pennsylvania Newspaper Record: Delaware County 1819-1870 (Accessible Archives)
Full-text transcriptions from six (6) nineteenth-century Delaware County newspapers.

  Philadelphia Inquirer
Contains the complete text of articles covered beginning with 1981. It DOES NOT include advertising, calendar listings, horoscopes, sports statistics, stock tables, weather, weddings, engagements and puzzles.

  Poole's Plus: 19th Century Masterfile (Paratext)
19th Century Masterfile is a vast 'Index of Indexes,' and is the largest resource for historical research before 1930. 19th Century Masterfile brings together over 70 subject indexes to: periodicals, newspapers, books, U.S. Congressional Records, U.S. and U.K. Government Documents, U.S. Patents, image archives, and more.

  ProQuest Newsstream
Includes access to the full text of over 1,300 newspapers, news websites and blogs including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, plus other important U.S., international and minority interest papers.

  Project Muse
Searchable collection of recent full-text humanities, social science and mathematics journals published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

  Readers' Guide Retrospective: 1890-1982 (EBSCO)
Provides indexing of over three million articles from more than 550 leading magazines, including full coverage of the original print volumes of Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature™. Subject coverage includes arts, business, computers, crafts, dance, drama, education, entertainment, fashion, film & television, food, gardening, health and medicine, home improvement, literature, news and current events, photography, popular and classical music, politics, popular culture, religion, sports and fitness, technology, transportation, travel and more.

  The Times Digital Archive 1785-2010(Gale)
The Times is the "world's newspaper of record" and covers all major international historical events from the French Revolution to the Falkland War. The entire newspaper is captured, with all articles, advertisements and illustrations/photos divided into categories to facilitate searching. It is a digital reproduction, cover to cover, of the paper in PDF files.

  Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism
Selected volumes now available online in Literature Resource Center (Gale)

  World Shakespeare Bibliography Online (Johns Hopkins)
Provides annotated entries for all important books, articles, book reviews, as well as theatrical productions, reviews of productions and other material related to Shakespeare published or produced from 1960 to the present, with coverage continuing to extend forward and backward in time.

swingo Sarah Wingo
Librarian for English Literature and Theatre
Falvey Library, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova , PA , 19085
Room 223
610-519-5183


Sarah Wingo is available for research consultations, instruction, curricular support & purchase requests.

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Last Modified: 2017-08-16 14:52:31