Skip to Main Content
Coronavirus Updates: Click here for the status of library operations and how to access resources & services remotely

Fine and Performance Arts: Home

concert hall with chairs


This guide is meant to be an introduction to some of the resources available at the Earl S. Richardson library for conducting research on Performance and Fine Arts. It is not intended to be an exhaustive resource, but rather to serve as a starting point in your research. If you are unsure where to begin, try having a look at our Getting Started guide. 

Top Databases for Fine Arts

Academic Databases are one of the best places for finding peer reviewed journal articles that will aid you in your research. The Earl S. Richardson Library subscribes to hundreds of databases on your behalf, which you can browse on our A-Z Database list. A few of the databases most relevant to fine arts research have been highlighted below.

eBooks in Fine Arts

Book resources (with the exception of textbooks and other reference material) tend to be more focused on specific topics, and give you a deeper dive into a narrower field of study. Several examples have been provided below.

About Call Numbers

Books in the ESR Library are organized by the Library of Congress Subject Headings and the Library of Congress Classification System. These are used to group books on similar topics together, so if you find a call number for one book on a topic you're interested in, you can probably find more by browsing the nearby shelves. 

Books on music are located under M, and books on visual arts are located under N. Books on the theatrical arts are usually in PN (a subsection of the literature section), but books on specific plays may be in a different part of the literature area, and biographies of various actors may be in other locations, so be prepared to explore the shelves a little bit more.

Call # Starts with…

Subject/s located here…




Literature on music


Instruction and study


Visual Arts






Drawing. Design. Illustration.




Print Media


Decorative Arts


Arts in general

PN 1600-3307


Chicago (Turabian)

The Chicago citation style is published and maintained by the Chicago Manual of Style, sometimes abbreviated to CMOS. It is most commonly found in History and Fine Arts disciplines.

It's sister style, Turabian, is from Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, by Kate Turabian. Turabian is sometimes called "Chicago Light" because it is essentially following Chicago style, but with slightly fewer rules as it is intended more for student papers than professional publications. Nevertheless, you will often see Chicago and Turabian referred to as if they are the same thing.

For these reasons the citation style as a whole can be referred to as either Chicago, Turabian, or CMOS. If you are unclear about which rules you need to follow or not follow (i.e. Turabian Vs. Chicago) it is always a good idea to check in with your instructor and ask what they prefer.

Chicago Quick Reference:

a quick reference guide of chicago style

Your Subject Librarian

Profile Photo
Jason Riggin
Earl S. Richardson Library
Room 221A
Innovation Hub and Makerspace
(443) 885 -1706

Reference Books

These books are in the reference collection on the first floor of the library. They cannot be checked out, but U.S. copyright law allows you to photocopy as much material as you want so long as it is for your personal use.

©2018 Morgan State University | 1700 East Cold Spring Lane Baltimore, Maryland 21251 | 443-885-3333 | Privacy | Accessibility