Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk



Performing Arts


Subject Areas Covered

To make it easier to locate material, the library uses the Dewey Classification system. This groups together subjects using a numbering system. The subject numbers for the performing arts are :-

791.3 Circus
791.43 Film
791.44 Broadcasting
791.45 Puppetry
792 Theatre/Stage
792.8 / 793 Dance

Richard III - Alan Badel

Specialist Material

The Library has a great range of specialist collections. The following may be of interest:-

Exhibition Catalogues. The library has a comprehensive collection of catalogues covering art, photographic and design exhibitions. They can be a source of information that can not be located anywhere else.

Sir Barry Jackson and Birmingham Repertory Theatre Archives The archives of Birmingham Repertory Theatre include the prompt books, programmes, photographs of productions and of individuals, press cuttings, personal correspondence of Sir Barry Jackson and business correspondence of the theatre, play texts and criticism from Sir Barry Jackson own library.

Birmingham Shakespeare LibraryBirmingham has one of the world's best collections of works by and about Shakespeare.It was founded in 1864 by members of the local Shakespeare Club during celebrations to mark the quarter centenary of Shakespeare's birth. The aim, as stated by George Dawson, President of the Club, was to build a collection containing as far as practicable "every edition and every translation of Shakespeare, all the commentators, good, bad and indifferent, in short, every book connected with the life and works of our great poet. I would add portraits of Shakespeare and all the pictures etc. illustrative of his work."

Our audio visual material includes some Classic Films and Shakespeare Plays .

New: Practical Film Collection - how to make films.From scriptwriting to directing and in between. Also there are books on working in TV.

New:Audition Pieces for actors.

Other sources of information include

Biography and Information Files Card Index, Film Festivals, FilmIndex, Play Reviews, TV Programmes, Radio, Ballet, and Fan Clubs Indexes- journals and newspapers articles are indexed for relevant articles.

A collection of the Radio and TV Times.


As well as book material the section takes a range of journalscovering a variety of subjects. The following are the performing art journals currently being taken.

Dance Theatre Journal
Dancing Times

Film Quarterly
Film Review
Movie International
Sight and Sound

Radio Times

Mediawatch UK-Newsbrief
Radio Times
The Stage
TV Times

Amateur Stage
The Stage
Theatre Record
Theatre Research International
Total Theatre

Suggested Websites: Performing Arts

We have compiled a list of web-sites pertinent to the subject. For reasons of space our choices are very selective. We believe the sites chosen will be useful, reflecting the questions regularly posed by our users.

The list cannot hope to be definitive. We will listen to what people have to say about the chosen sites. We will consider recommendations, and may phase out sites, which are not used or superseded.


Birmingham arts venue promoting African, Asian & Caribbean arts and cultural activities.

Actors and Actresses


Biographical information on people in the film industry.


International casting directory with addresses and CVs available on subscription.



Listing of tradiional dance clubs in Birmingham,includes Irish step and set dancing classes.


Salsa dance classes in the Birmingham area.


The Royal Ballet Schools's mission is to train and educate over 200 students towards a career as classical ballet dancers.


Birmingham Royal Ballet's website includes a What's On, Biographies, Photographs and background information.


Web-site of the English National Ballet. Includes news, tour schedules and information on artists.


The Laban Centre, London includes books, periodicals, programmes and photographs on all kinds of dance. There is an education training and community programme and a list of courses and classes.


Archive of Britain's oldest dance company. Includes holdings on Dame Marie Rambert. Appointments are needed for research access.


A Birmingham based organisation working in dance to affect cultural development, allow for social inclusion and aid the growth of the dance economy.



Website for the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television quickly became the most visited national museum outside London, attracting approximately 750,000 visitors each year.


Home page of the Oscar awards and useful information on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Home page of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Details of annual awards, history of the organisation, events and press releases.


Web site of Hollywood Press Association and Golden Globe Awards. Winners for the last and current years listed. Search engine for awards by category and year from 1944 onwards is currently being constructed.


Well designed site showing black and white movie classics. Essays on genres such as screwball comedy and film noir.


A guide to classic Hollywood films between 1939-1969. Search under directors, actors, musicals, books and videos.


The British Film Institute site contains many unpublished materials such as scripts, television ephemera. There are over 500 names collections but an annual membership is needed for access.


Find out what is on at the cinemas in Birmingham.



Find out what is on at the Theatre as well as other useful information.

You can use the online Library Catalogue to help you locate material. Some items published before 1973 or that are in the Collections may not be listed in the online catalogue.

All our staff are pleased to help you with your enquiry which can be made in person, via telephone,fax, e-mail or letter. It is always advisable to contact us before you make a special journey.

Please note We are not responsible for the content of other organisations' websites.