Skip to Main Content

THEA 3890 Porterfield: Finding Books

Link to Library Catalog

Historical Dictionary of Contemporary American Theater

From legends like Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, and Arthur Miller to successful present-day playwrights like Neil LaBute, Tony Kushner, and David Mamet, some of the most important names in the history of theater are from the past 80 years. Contemporary American theater has produced some of the most memorable, beloved, and important plays in history, including Death of a Salesman, A Streetcar Named Desire, Barefoot in the Park, Our Town, The Crucible, A Raisin in the Sun, and The Odd Couple. Historical Dictionary of Contemporary American Theater presents the plays and personages, movements and institutions, and cultural developments of the American stage from 1930 to 2010, a period of vast and almost continuous change. It covers the ever-changing history of the American theater with emphasis on major movements, persons, plays, and events. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, an extensive bibliography, and over 1,500 cross-referenced dictionary entries. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about the history of American theater.

American Playwrights Since 1945

Informative and economically written, this book is a useful tool for theatre and literary practitioners. American Theater This guide to the state of research on forty major American playwrights and the history of their productions is among the first of its kind. It is actually many books: a bibliography, a stage history, an assessment of scholarly works about each playwright, and an invaluable guide to the types of research studies--biographical, bibliographical and critical--that remain to be done on each playwright. The essays were written by leading experts in American drama and theatre and focus on playwrights whose works have in some way shaped and influenced the American stage. Each essay follows a standard format and provides information on the playwright's reputation and achievements; primary bibliography; production history of where, when, how often, and how well his or her works were performed; a rigorous identification and evaluation of secondary materials on bibliographies, biographies, influence studies, general works, and analyses of plays, and, most significantly, a detailed analysis of future research opportunities.

Finding Books


1. Click Books & Journals on the library home page.

2. Type your search terms into the box that has "Search books, journals, and more". You can search keywords, a subject, author, or title. 

3. Click "Find"



  • Quick
  • Convenient


Basic search in GIL-Find


1. Click on Books & Journals on the library home page

2. Click on Advanced Search

3. Type your search terms in the search boxes and select any Limits you want to use

4. Click Search



  • Powerful
  • Complex searches
  • Use search options to refine results


Search Options: 

  • Publication Date
  • Format
  • Language
  • Start Date
  • End Date
  • Search Scope
  • Any field can be changed to reflect Title, Author/Creator, Subject, Journal Title, Series Title, Publisher, ISBN


Advanced Search in GIL-Find

Physical Books at Odum Library




1. From the search results, you can see the status and location of the book.  

Example: "Available at Odum Library 3rd Floor Shelves (PN6728 .P36 V38 2016 v. 1)" 

Search Results in GIL-Find with availability status and call number circled in purple.


2. Use the blue link that follows the book status for more options.  

In this example, you would click on "Odum Library 3rd Floor Shelves (PN6728 .P36 V38 2016 v.1) and other locations >"

Catalog information page for "Paper Girls" book


Online Resources at Odum Library 




1. To access online materials, click on Online Access.

Search Results for Beatrix Potter showing Available and Online Access


2. In the new window, look under View Online. You can access the online material by clicking on the blue link that follows "Full text available at".

Example: eBook Central Academic Complete - GALILEO

Expanded results when Online Access selected from the results list in the catalog. Find the full text under View Online.



Physical Books from other USG Libraries




1. Visit

Screenshot of GIL-Find search page



2. Click on the drop-down menu next to Valdosta State University and select University System of Georgia 

Screenshot of GIL-Find Search. The drop down menu has been clicked on giving options of Valdosta State University or University System of Georgia



3. Input your search terms in the first search box and click search 

Screenshot of "Rosa Parks" search results in the University System of Georgia



Accessing Books from University System of Georgia Institutions


To learn how visit the GIL-Express page. 

Odum Library uses the Library of Congress Classification to organize the library by subject. Each book is assigned a call number. 


Things might look a little different than the books at your public library or at a bookstore. However, there are only a few easy rules to follow and you'll be able to find any book in our library! 

The catalog entry will always tell you which floor the book is located on and that's a good place to start. Once you get to the right floor, you're going to want to start reading the call number. 


Screenshot of catalog record for Paper Girls. PN6728.P36 V38 2016 v. 1 is circled in purple and labeled with Call number.


How to Read a Call Number 


  • Left to Right 

In the example for Paper Girls above, to read the call number, you would start with PN and end with v.1. 


  • Alphabetically 

The first part of the call number will be 1-3 letters. Read these alphabetically. 

In the example for Paper Girls above, the first part is PN.  PN would come after P, PA, PB, PC, PD, PE, etc. until you get to PN. Each row of the shelves in the library is labeled with a range. Look for those that include PN. 


  • Numerically

The second part of the call number is a number that consists of one or more digits. Smaller numbers come before larger numbers. 

In the example for Paper Girls above, the second part of the call number is 6728. 

So once you are in the PN section, you will look for that second number. PN6728 would come after PN6700 and before PN6730. 

*You don't have to count every book. In fact, look ahead on the shelf and see if the numbers jump ahead closer to the number you are looking for. *


  • Combine and Repeat

The third part of the call number (if there is one) is made up of a letter and a number.  Use your alphabet and number skills. The key difference with this third part is that the number is read as if it came after a decimal point. Rest assured, typically at this point, you're pretty close to finding your book. 


In the example for Paper Girls above, the third part of the call number is .P36.

Once in the PN6728 section look at that third part.

  • PN6728 .P36 would come after PN6728 .M88 and PN6728 .P359.  


  • PN6728 .P36 would come before PN6728 .P364 


If it helps, imagine extra zeros after this number .P36(0) vs. .P364.

Keep following this process until you find you reach the year of publication. 



  • Year

In the example of Paper Girls above, 2016 is the year of publication. 



  • Volume 

If there are volumes in a work (encyclopedia or comic book), the volume will be indicated with v and the corresponding number. 

In the example of Paper Girls above, this v.1 refers to volume 1. 



  • Copy

If the library owns multiple copies of the same item, they will be indicated with a c. 

If this was our second copy of Paper Girls v.1., it would read: v.1. c.2.