The Libraries seek to support research in a wide variety of arts, including theater (writing, acting, direction, criticism), film (writing, acting, direction, criticism), music (performance) and creative writing (theory and practice). It supports the needs of undergraduate and MA/MS students, as well as Ph.D. students in film and theater arts, the teaching faculty, post-docs, and researchers.
Changes in user population in the past five years include an unremitting growth, especially in the film and theater divisions, of the department, which now has an enrollment of over 500 students.
Areas of established specialization: The Butler General Library’s performing arts collection includes all aspects of the subject with the exception of the musical. Dramatic materials predominate. The texts of plays and critical materials concerning them are considered as forming part of our literature collections and are therefore collected accordingly. Complementing these basic materials and forming part of our performing arts collections proper are materials on the history of the theater which, again, are collected from all areas of the world. The cinema is also well-represented in our collections--its more practical aspects primarily in English, but with theoretical, historical and critical materials from all major movie-producing areas of the world. Files of the most important periodicals and monographic series in the field are maintained.