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Theatre Arts

Set and Costume Design

Penn Libraries has several databases and print materials for researching the scenic design elements of an era: costume, architecture, furniture, and other stage elements. 

Historical Context

A terrific way to get a sense of a particular historical context is to read the primary sources from that time period. For those studying the 1950s, those sources might include:

  • Books and articles on set design, costuming, and the theatre industry written in the 1950s
  • Newspaper articles and magazines from the 1950s
  • Diaries and correspondence from the 1950s
  • Personal collections and papers stored in archives, containing material from the 1950s

Often, you can use a date restriction on your database search to find material written from your time period. Some other relevant collections below: