Learn more about how the Cal Poly Humboldt Library can help
support your research and learning needs.
Stay updated at Campus Ready.
Library Catalogs list separately published plays and provide some access to plays in anthologies and collections. Any play published separately or in a collection of two or three will be listed by author and title in the catalog. Records for larger collections and complete or selected works of one author may have a "contents note" showing individual titles. Without such a note, you will have to examine the book itself to see if your play is included.
The HSU Library Catalog is usually the best place to start looking for a play script:
If you need more help, please ask a librarian.
Indexes to plays list plays by author, title, and sometimes by subject, and identify the anthologies or periodicals where each work appears. (Most index volumes cover a specific time period, so it helps to know the date of your play.) When you have found the name of a collection containing the play, look up the name of the collection, not the play, in the HSU Library Catalog to see if we have it. Or, look in the index volume for the list of publications indexed -- sometimes we note our holding there If we don't have the collection, you can borrow it on interlibrary loan.
Some play indexes in our Reference collection are listed below. Ask at the Reference desk if you need help with them.
OmniFile Full Text Mega can be used to partially update the play indexes. It lists hundreds of plays published in periodicals from as far back as 1982. On the search screen, choose Drama (Text of Play) in the Document Type box. You can search at this point or add keywords for subject, title, or author of the play you are looking for. Many of the plays in Omnifile are in fulltext, but they do tend to be lesser known ones.
Humanities Index (Abstract AI 3 R492, in the Reference collection) is the print equivalent of Omnifile's Humanities subject area. It covers the years 1974 -1983, with a separate volume for each year. Look under author or the subject headings Dramas, Radio plays, or Stage Adaptions. There is no listing by title.
If you are looking for a scene or monologue, rather than a complete play, you may use the books listed below to identify possibilities. They refer you to scenes in published plays and may include information about cast, running time, and genre of the scene or monologue. To find copies of the plays containing the scenes, follow the steps explained elsewhere on this tab.
To find books consisting of collections of scenes or monologues, do an Advanced Search in the HSU Library Catalog, not QuickSearch, for Title, using actor? scene? as the search. (The question marks are important; they are for truncation.) You can also do a Subject search using monologues or dialogues or drama collections as the search terms.
WorldCat is an online catalog similar to the HSU Library Catalog, but it lists the holdings of thousands of libraries. If you don't find the play you want in our catalog, search WorldCat. If you find the play, you may borrow it, or the book it is in, on interlibrary loan. It takes about a week to receive interlibrary loans.
To search WorldCat for plays:
You may also search in the CSU Catalog, MELVYL, or other library catalogs linked under Other Libraries on our homepage to find books to borrow on interlibrary loan.
Try also searching "One-act plays, American" as a Subject