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THA 210: Historically Accurate Costume Design Research Project: Getting Started

A guide designed to help students in THA 210 find sources for their historically accurate costume design research project.

Getting Started

Popular Databases at Murphy Library

These databases are great starting points for your research.  For excellent subject-specific resources, please browse our Library Guides.  


Murphy Library has copies of several periodicals (academic journals, magazines, newspapers) on microfilm. You may come across them when searching for research materials in the library's catalog, Search@UW. Please don't let the source's format deter you from using it! 

What is microfilm?

Microfilm is a long strip of film with tiny micro-images of individual pages of journals, newspapers, magazines, etc. It allows for storage of a very large content of information on a single strip of film.

How do I use microfilm?

Microfilm is organized alphabetically by journal, newspaper, or magazine title. There are manual readers and digital readers. It's a bit tricky to thread the film, but there are guides on the machines or you can ask someone at the reference desk to help you. On the digital reader, you can save to a USB, or download the article and email it to yourself as a pdf or jpg. 

Off-Campus Access

Many library resources, such as the catalog and the Journals & Newspapers Locator, are available anywhere in the world without having to log in.

Most of the information databases and periodicals that the library subscribes to are also available off campus, but only to users affiliated with UWL.

Login procedures are as follows:

  1. At the Murphy Library website, select a database to search.
  2. After you select a database, you will be asked for a username and password. 
  3. Students: In the username box, enter your UWL NetIDExample: lastname.firs
    (Most UWL NetID user names follow this format: first 8 letters of your last name followed by a dot (.) followed by the first 4 letters of your first name.)
  4. Faculty: In the username box, enter your UWL NetIDExample: Flastname
    Most Faculty and Staff UWL NetID user names follow this format: first name initial followed by the last name.)
  5. DO NOT include or as part of your username.
  6. In the password box, enter your UWL NetID password
  7. Remember, you will use the exact same user name and login as you use to login to Canvas and to on-campus computers - your NetID

More information

Historical Context

History Websites

Chicago Tribune Archives

Murphy Library Chicago Tribune Holdings: Microfilm (1849:Apr.23)-(1872:Dec.), (1972:Jan.)-(2003:Apr.10)

Value of a Dollar in 1950

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
(Under the Research tab is a formula for comparing the value of a dollar between two years)


Demographics & Statistics

Essential Databases

More Databases


Online Historical/Archival Newspapers

Newspaper Library Guide

Historical/Archival Newspapers



2nd Floor Book Examples

Reference Book Examples

Looking for more books with visual images?  Try a subject browse search in the Library Catalog for stage props (or browse the shelves at PN 2091), a subject search for castles, or browse our art collection in the "N" section on the library's 2nd floor (don't forget many art books are in the oversize collection).

Web Resouces

More Reference Book Examples

How to cite an image with MLA

Taken from "How to Cite a Photograph" (BibMe)


The citation format for a photograph depends on the type of photograph and in what context it was published.

Photograph from museum/collection:

Last Name, First Name. Photograph Title. Year Created. Medium. Museum/Collection Name, City.

Photograph from publication:

Last Name, First Name. Photograph Title. Year Created. Museum/Collection Name, City. Publication Information.

Photograph found online:

Last Name, First Name. Photograph Title. Year Created. Museum/Collection Name, City. Website Title. Medium. Date Accessed.

Begin with the name of the photographer. This person’s name should be reversed, with a comma being placed after the last name and a period after the first name (and any middle name). A suffix, such as a roman numeral or Jr./Sr. should appear after the person’s given name, preceded by a comma.

For a photograph from a publication, museum/collection, or the web, next include the title of the photograph, which is italicized, and the year created, both followed by periods. If the photograph is from a museum/collection, include the word “Photograph” to indicate the medium of the work, along with a period. If the photograph is from a publication, museum/collection, or the web, include the museum/collection name, a comma, the city of the museum/collection, and a period.

Smith, John. Sunset on the Atlantic. 2000. Photograph. Museum of Modern Art, New York.

If there is no year created available, substitute the abbreviation “N.d.” instead.

Smith, John. Sunset on the Atlantic. N.d. Photograph. Museum of Modern Art, New York.

For a photograph found online, conclude the citation with the website name, which is italicized, the medium (which in this case is “Web”), and the date on which you accessed the website. Follow each of these pieces of information with periods. For date accessed, the complete date should be written in the international format (e.g. “day month year”). With the exception of May, June, and July, month names should be abbreviated (four letters for September, three letters for all other months) and followed with a period.

Smith, John. Sunset on the Atlantic. 2000. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Web. 1 Feb. 2009.

Biographical Resources

Finding Playwright Biographies

Production History/Reviews

Web Resources

Article Databases

Finding Play Reviews/Print Indexes

Theatre Arts


Random Helpful Web Resources


MLA Basics

This guide is based on the 8th edition (2016) of the MLA Handbook.

MLA (Modern Language Association) uses the author/page number method for in-text citation. Include in parentheses the author's last name and the appropriate page number after all direct quotations and paraphrased content in your paper: Example: (Pollan 42). For more information, including other methods of incorporating quotes and paraphrased content in your paper, see the "Avoiding Plagiarism" tab and the Recommended Guides section of the "Basics" tab.

For the Works Cited list, MLA requires the use of hanging indents.

Watch these:

Author: Use the full name as given in the source

Author: If one or two authors, give the full names of both

Author: If three or more authors, give the first author and indicate: et al.

Article title: Use " " (not italics or underline)

Journal/Book title: Use italics

URL: omit http:// or https://

URL: Use a DOI if one is available.  If not, use a permalink/ persistent/ stable link if one is available.

Samples of Modern Language Association (8th, 2016) Basic Format for the Works Cited list


- Capitalize all significant title and subtitle words.
- Place of publication is normally not included.

Lastname, Firstname M. and Firstname2 Lastname2. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. 

     Publisher, Year of Publication.

Lastname, Firstname M., et al., editors. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. 

     Publisher, Year of Publication.


Article in a Periodical

Lastname, Firstname. "Title of Article." Title of Journal,

     vol. nn, no. nn, date of issue, pp. nn-nn.


Article in a Periodical, Retrieved from a Library Database

- Give the inclusive page numbers when given.

Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal,

vol. nn, no. nn, date of issue, pp. nn-nn. Database name,



Article in an Online Periodical (not from a library database)

- Give the inclusive page numbers when given.

Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal,

vol. nn, no. nn, date of issue, pp. nn-nn. Website name,



Web Document/Page/Report, Web Video, Web Images

 - If citing a whole web site, omit "Title of Work".
 - The Accessed date (including the word, Accessed) is generally optional, but it is required if there is no publication date.
Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Work.” Website name,

     Day published Month published Year published,

     URL. Accessed Day Month Year.

Citing Digital Content in MLA (7th, 2009)

Taken from Lafayette College's Archives and Special Collections website. You can access it directly here.

Digital Collections Note: MLA no longer requires the use of URLs in MLA citations. For instructors who still wish to require the use of URLs, MLA suggest that the URL appear within angle brackets after the date of access. The URL is given in the samples below.

Magazine Article: Shaw, Diane Windham. “Lafayette and Slavery.” Lafayette Alumni News. Winter 2007. Digital. 13 Jan. 2015. < 20070100>.

Newspaper Article: Kelley, Michael. “Damaged Futures. Research Finds Student Athletes are at Greater Risk for Long-Term Health.” The Lafayette. 9 May 2014. Digital. 13 Jan. 2015. <>.

Photograph: “Students Disrupt ROTC Parade on Fisher Field.” 4 May 1969. Historical Photograph Collection. Digital. 13 Jan. 2015. <>. 

MLA Style Format

Recommended Guides

These are comprehensive citation guides recommended by librarians.