a. North American Women’s Drama

By Jane Faulkner (UC Santa Barbara), Resource Liaison

North American Women’s Drama is a full-text database of 1500 plays written by women from the United States and Canada from the Colonial period to the present.  Many of the works are rare or out of print, and nearly a quarter of the collection consists of previously unpublished plays.  Each is extensively indexed and can be searched by a keyword in the play itself, or by such topics as production company, sexual orientation of an author or character, setting (“London –house—interior”), costume designer, and any number of equally creative and useful fields.  As is true with all Alexander Street Press databases, the semantic indexing combined with the thesaurus allows users to hunt up answers to questions such as “Which plays written before 1890 treat the subject of divorce?” and “are there any monologues by female characters who are dancers?”

Plays are accompanied by reference materials.  Fun side note: the “showcase” link from the NAWD home page features color images of playbills, brochures, flyers, and postcards.

CDL has purchased perpetual rights to North American Women’s Drama on behalf of future UC scholars.

b. Latino Literature.

By Jane Faulkner (UC Santa Barbara), CDL Resource Liaison

Latino Literature claims to be the most comprehensive collection of Latino literature yet created, and it may well be. When complete (in spring 2007) it will contain 450 plays and more than 100,000 pages of fiction and poetry, from 1848 to the present.  The themes addressed in these writings cover the entire spectrum of Latino issues, from the struggle for independence to political and economic advancement, social protest, migration, exile, and life in the barrios, making Latino Literature a significant resource for a wide range of academic disciplines.

The term “Latino” in this database includes all citizens of the United States whose heritage is Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central American, and South American.  About 80 percent of the texts are still in copyright and nearly a quarter of the collection consists of items that have never been published before.  Most of the texts are in English, with selected works of particular importance Spanish.

Those familiar with other Alexander Street Press databases will recognize the standard interface which allows for multi-field searching in areas such as ethnicity, occupation, character names, composers, production companies, and the like.  A quick browse through the subjects listing on the Latino Literature homepage shows the range of the collection and the depth of the indexing.  See the resources section for an interesting gallery of images of playbills, flyers, programs brochures, and postcards.

CDL has purchased perpetual rights to NA Women’s Drama on behalf of future UC scholars.