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Newspapers and Magazines

To get a sense of the zeitgeist of a time and place, try newspapers and magazines. Also see the Newspapers page of Laurie Scrivener's guide to primary sources.

What Were They Wearing?




  • The Worldwide History of Dress by Patricia Rieff Anawalt (2007). GT 507 .A539 2007
  • Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion (2005). 3 vols. Reference Collection   GT 507 .E53 2005
  • Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion (2010). 10 vols. Reference Collection   GT 507 .E54 2010

What Was Their Slang?

While a Google search might be appropriate to find current slang, a slang dictionary could be useful for finding lingo for particular eras or regions. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is also a great source when you need to learn more about an unfamiliar word or idiom. For example, not sure what wool-gathering means? The OED defines it as "to indulge in wandering fancies or purposeless thinking; to be in a dreamy or absent-minded state."

Please be aware that dictionaries may contain words that are vulgar, culturally insensitive, or derogative.

Here are some other resources:

Some Other Useful Resources

Other Guides

Since dramaturgy research can involve so many aspects of both major events and daily life anywhere in the world and during any time period, it would be impossible to list all of the resources available through OU libraries. Here are some other guides that might help.

All OU Library guides

What Were They Reading and Listening To?

The Media Resource Center (MRC), a service of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts, is a working library of time-based (non-book) materials: CDs, videos, digital audio tapes (DATs) and regular cassette tapes, digital video discs (DVDs) and long-playing records (LPs). These are available to anyone who wishes to use them in the Ruby Grant Fine Arts Library, located in Catlett Hall.

What Were They Doing?



  • The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life (2004). 6 vols. Bizzell Memorial Library  Reference Collection   GT 31 .G74 2004 

What Were They Buying?