Finding Plays in the Library

Plays are often published in anthologies or collections rather than as separate titles. Drama is classified in the Library of Congress Classification System within the literature section under the playwright’s nationality and name. This makes finding plays a challenge.

If you know the name of the playwright or the play itself, you can begin by doing an author or title search in the library catalog. If not, it is important to identify the name and nationality of the playwright of the work you are interested in. If you do not have a specific play in mind, browsing anthologies and reference works can be a good place to start. Also try comedies and tragedies.

The Library of Congress Classification Numbers for Drama in the English Language:

ML 50 Musicals
PN 1600 – PN 3299 Dramatic composition, types of drama, dramatic representation.
PN 6110.5 – PN 6120 Collections of general drama
PR 621 – PR 739 English drama
PR 1241 – PR 1273 Collections of English drama
PR 1509 – PR 6076 By time period and playwright
PS 330 – PS 352 American drama
PS 623 – PS 635 Collections of American drama
PS 700 – PR 3576 By time period and playwright

Selected Playwrights:

PG 3455 through PG 3458 Anton Chekhov
PR 6069.T6 Tom Stoppard
PS 3525.I5156 Arthur Miller
PS 3529.N5 Eugene O’Neill
PS 3537.I663 Neil Simon
PS 3545.I5365 Tennessee Williams
PT 8852 through PT 8900 Henrik Ibsen

Reference Works:

REF PN1601.D59 Drama Criticism
REF Z5781.P53 Play Index

Collections:

PN 6112.B45 Best Plays
PS634.B4 Best American Plays