Skip to Main Content


Find plays, books, DVD's, online video, criticism, analysis, web resources for the scholar, actor, and director.

How to Read Call Numbers

Library of Congress (LOC) call numbers can look a little intimidating, but once you understand what all those letters and numbers mean, you should be able to find library items with ease.

  1. LOC call numbers are read one element (letter/letter combination or number) at a time, beginning to end (or top to bottom if printed vertically). When you're looking for an item, start with the initial letter (or pair of letters) and find each element in the order in which they appear.
  2. FIRST LETTERS: The first letter or set of letters tells you in what section of the library your item is found, and is arranged alphabetically. This means PN comes first, then PQ, then PS.
  3. FIRST NUMBERS: The number that follows is read as a whole number, so PN511 comes first, then PN1720, then PN6110.
  4. LETTERS AFTER THE DECIMAL: Like the first letter, these letters are also arranged alphabetically. PN511.C, therefore, comes before PN511.M.
  5. NUMBERS AFTER THE DECIMAL: As these numbers follow a decimal, they should be read as a decimal. This means .123 comes before .45, which comes before .6.
  6. Another letter/number combination can follow, which should be read the same way as the preceding one (remember: it's still after a decimal point!).
  7. YEAR (optional): The entire number can be followed by a four-digit number, which is a year, and which is read like a whole number.

Practice on this example call number:

Call number reading PN2193.E86 T87 2021

Tips for searching using call numbers:

  • Learn the call number for the subject you are interested in researching. If you are interested in costume design, be familiar with PN2067 and TT507. If you're studying Shakespeare, know PR2890. If you need piano/vocal scores for musical theater songs, memorize M1507. This way you can browse those sections of the stacks without having to look up specific call numbers. Be aware, though, that books in these areas might also be located in other sections of the library, so don't rely solely on this method!
  • HOWEVER, not all of our collection is browsable! What about books in the BookBot, ebooks, or books that are checked out? Use the library's advanced search function to browse call number ranges.

Screenshot of the library homepage featuring the main search field, with a red arrow pointing to the blue button immediately to the right of the search box.

        1. From the library homepage, click on the blue box with the magnifying glass next to the search box.


Library search page showing tabs reading "Everything," "Books & Media," "Articles," Databases," "Journals," and "Library Website." To the right of the search box, there is a red circle around "Advanced Search."

        2. Select "advanced search"


The lower part of the "Advanced Search" page, showing filters for "Availability," "Library," "Resource Type," "Language," "Newly Added," "Publication Year," and "Library of Congress Classification Range." The fields for Library of Congress Classification Range are filled in with "PR2890" to "PR2890.99."

        3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and enter a call number range in the "Library of Congress Classification Range" fields. Make sure you choose an end number that will encompass any possible item within that range.

Call Numbers for Theater

Library of Congress Classification for Theatre

Literature (General). Drama: PN1600-3307 

  • Drama. History: PN 1720-1861
  • Dramatic representation. The Theater: PN2000-3307 
    • By time period: PN2131-2193
  • Collections of General Literature. Drama: PN6110.5-6120


Romance Literatures: PQ

  • French Literature
    • Drama History and Criticism: PQ500-59
    • Drama Collections: PQ1211-1241
    • Authors: PQ1411-2726
  • Italian Literature 
    • Drama History and Criticism: PQ4133-4160
    • Drama Collections: PQ4227-4245
    • Authors: PQ4265-4926
  • Spanish Literature
    • Drama History and Criticism: PQ6098.7-6129
    • Drama Collections: PQ6217-6241
    • Authors: PQ6271-6726
  • English Literature: PR 
    • Drama History and Criticism: PR621-739
    • Drama Collections: PR1241-1273
    • Authors: PR1490-6126


  • American Literature: PS 
    • Drama History and Criticism: PS330-352
    • Drama Collections: PS623-635
    • Authors: PS700-3626
  • German Literature: PT 
    • Drama History and Criticism: PT605-709
    • Drama Collections: PT1251-1299
    • Authors: PT1501-2728

Related Areas

The related areas below are useful in helping to understand the historical context and design elements appropriate for that context:

  • General and World History: D (general world history and breakdowns by country. Each category is further arranged by time period.)
  • American History: E and F
  • Manners and Customs: GT 
    • Houses. Dewllings: GT 170-474
    • Costume. Dress. Fashion: GT500-2370
  • Social History: HN
  • Music: M 
    • History and Criticism: ML 159-360 (arranged by special time periods and then by country)
    • Musical Theater: MT955-956
  • Fine Arts: N 
    • History of Art: N5300-7418 (arranged by time periods and movements, followed by countries arranged by time period then movements)
    • Special Subjects of Art: N7570-8266 
      • Portraits: N7575-7624
      • Humans in art: N7625.5-7649.A-.Z
      • Other special subjects: N8217-8266
    • Architecture: NA
    • Decorative Arts: NK 
      • Interior Decoration. House Decoration: NK1700-3505
  • Technology: T
    • Artistic Photography: TR644-687
      • Portraits: TR680-681 
      • Fashion Photography: TR679
    • Clothing Manufacture. Dressmaking. Tailoring: TT490-695
    • Hairdressing: TT950-979
    • Home Economics: TX



Drama Criticism

Find Books

Google Books

Google Book Search searches thefull-text of the books in its inventory.   This means that  Google books allows you to search within the book!  Google Book Search lets you see a table of contents or an index or just a portion of a book.  You can find out if the book is relevant to your subject or topic, and then locate the book in a nearby library!

Google Books