The Peter J. Shields Library, with more than 2.6 million volumes, is ranked among the top research libraries in the country. The special collections in the performing arts—especially in experimental theatre—are impressive, comprising more than 650 linear feet of materials. Holdings range from the Ballantine papers, chronicling the development of the Provincetown Players, to the archives of the Living Theatre, which from the mid-twentieth century advocated anarchy and radical social change.
Shields Library also holds the archives of the Bread and Puppet Theatre, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the Joint Stock Theatre Group, and the Squat Theatre, as well as many other performance-related holdings, including ephemera, theatrical and booking agents’ archives, set designs, playscripts, and more. The Performing Arts collection has no geographical or language limits, although the bulk of the materials are in English and originate from the United Kingdom and the United States.
Students are also encouraged to take full advantage of the outstanding resources available in other UC Davis Arts Programs and in the Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies departments of the University of California, Davis. Faculty in other UC Davis graduate and undergraduate programs play an important role in the life of the Theatre and Dance Department, affording our students the greatest possible flexibility in their chosen areas of research. Doctoral students may wish to pursue compatible studies in Critical Theory, Feminist Theory and Research, African and African American Studies, American Studies, Asian American Studies, Chicana/Chicano Studies, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, English, or foreign languages.