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Library Resources


Do you have a Help question we haven't answered here? Contact us on dramaonline@bloomsbury.com

Access, Subscribing and Logging In

How do I subscribe to Drama Online?
Drama Online is available for sale on subscription as well perpetual access sale. For those that purchase the collection outright, 'top-up' purchases may be made available in the future to account for any subsequently-added content.

For librarians: visit how to subscribe  to organise a 30 day free trial and to discuss pricing options.

Faculty members: recommend this product to your librarians! The full content list is posted here .

Subscriber Services

Once subscribed, visit Subscriber Services to:

  • Update your contact details
  • Check your allowed IPs
  • Add your institution’s logo to the footer of the site
  • Download user statistics
  • Insert OpenURL Resolver details

Are usage statistics available?
Bloomsbury Digital Resources platforms provide usage statistics to customers in accordance with the COUNTER Code of Practice.

COUNTER 4 and COUNTER 5 reports are available to subscribing institutions via our Administrator Portal (username and password required). If you need a username and password please contact us. Subscribing institutions can also use our SUSHI service for automated retrieval of COUNTER 4 and COUNTER 5 usage statistics. Please contact us to request your credentials and information on using this service.

Why are Bloomsbury usage statistics changing to COUNTER 5?
The COUNTER Code of Practice is the industry-standard format for usage reporting of electronic resources. Bloomsbury products are COUNTER-compliant. Release 5 is the current Code of Practice and the requirement for COUNTER compliance.

Where I can find more information about the COUNTER Release 5 usage reports?
COUNTER has produced The Friendly Guide to Release 5 for Librarians and COUNTER Foundations Classes. You can also read Release 5 of the Code of Practice in full on the COUNTER website.

What is the difference between COUNTER 5 reports and COUNTER 4 reports?
The COUNTER Code of Practice includes an appendix: Changes from Previous Releases which shows how the reports have changed and which reports have been eliminated.

Can I still access COUNTER 4 reports?
In addition to COUNTER 5 reports, Bloomsbury will continue to provide COUNTER 4 reports until the December of 2022.

Where I can access my COUNTER reports?
COUNTER 4 and COUNTER 5 reports are available to subscribing institutions via our Administrator Portal (username and password required). If you need a username and password please contact us.

Can I use SUSHI?
Yes, subscribing institutions can use our SUSHI service for automated retrieval of COUNTER 4 and COUNTER 5 usage statistics. Please contact us to request your credentials and information on using this service.

Which COUNTER reports are available?

For COUNTER 5, the following reports are available:
Platform Master report - PR
Platform Usage – PR_P1
Title Master Report- TR
Book Requests (excluding "OA_Gold") - TR_B1
Book Access Denied - TR_B2
Book Usage by Access Type - TR_B3
Item Master Report - IR
Multimedia Item Requests - IR_M1

COUNTER 5 reports collect data from 11th March 2020.

For COUNTER 4, the following reports are available:
Platform Report 1 - PR1
Book Report 2 - BR2
Book Report 3 - BR3
Multimedia Report 1 - MR1

COUNTER 4 reports will continue to collect data without interruption until December 2022.

How do I access MARC records?
MARC records for all collections can be downloaded from this page.

How can I view or update my subscription record?
Please visit  Subscriber Services. Your administrative login will be required. If you have lost or forgotten your administrative login, please  contact us .

How do I access Drama Online?

After your account set-up has been completed there are a variety of ways to access the site.

  • Automatic Authentication

Most institutions will set up their access via IP-authentication. This means a user who comes to the site through a subscribing institution will automatically be logged in when accessing the site.

Librarians, you can find out about setting up your institution via  Subscriber Services .

  •  Username and Password

Some institutions require username and password authentication. If you do not know your institution's log in details, please consult your librarian. 

If you have password access to the site, type your username and password into the login fields accessed from the home page. Remember that your password is case-sensitive. 

If you have forgotten your password,  follow this link  to be reminded of your password. If you have problems logging in, please contact  Customer Services

  • Athens Access

As of 4 January 2013, the Athens Agent no longer works as an access management solution. Users should be advised to contact the person responsible for subscriptions to Drama Online at their institution.

  • Shibboleth Access

If your institution uses authentication via Shibboleth, select the Log In button on the Home Page, then select Log In via your institution.

What is the difference between Log In and Sign In?

Log In is for logging into the site via your institution. If your institution has IP recognition you will be logged in automatically.

Sign In is a personal login which allows you to use the bookmarking, note-taking and save search features.If you don't have a subscription, you can still create an account but the content available to you will be limited to free content only. 


Please see our Accessibility Statement for more information on Drama Online and accessibility.


Take a tour of Drama online by viewing our video user guides.

What content is included in Drama Online?
Drama Online contains many hundreds of plays from the very earliest Greek works right up to the present day. In addition there are background and contextual works on playwrights, theatre movements, genres, practitioners and periods, as well as scholarly monographs, major reference works, dictionary content, practical books on acting and stage craft, and over five hundred theatre production stills from the Victoria and Albert Museum Performance collection. You can view the list of plays, context and criticism and theatre craft works using the primary navigation options above. Images can be found through search, on the play pages and through Related Content.

The collection will continue to grow throughout the year. For the list of titles that please visit the Content List .

Do the play texts resemble the print version?
Following feedback from our market research we have made sure that page numbers and lineation echo the print version of the work. To view these you simply need to mouse over the text and they will appear. 

For plays you will find any additional material associated with the play, such as Introductions and Chronologies, in the From the Book section on the play home page.

For the play itself, clicking on Read Play on the play home page will take you into the play content in the Drama Online reading environment (the Reader). The table of contents in the Reader can be hidden from view if desired, leaving a clutter-free page for you to focus on the content.

How do I view scholarly notes in the play text?
For plays that contain scholarly annotations, such as the Arden Shakespeare and New Mermaid Series, you simply need to mouse over the text; the highlights where notes are available will appear in blue. Clicking on the highlight will reveal the note. For notes that are not attached to any specific text the note icon will appear next to the relevant line number(s). 
The Arden Shakespeare scholarly note icons explained:
Commentary notes  provide explanations of vocabulary, literary or biblical references, theatrical interpretations and, where relevant, extracts from Shakespeare’s source material. Commentary notes  are represented by the speech icon: Commentary notes button

Textual notes are designed to let readers know when the edited text diverges from the early edition(s) on which it is based. Wherever this happens the note will record the rejected reading of the early edition(s), in original spelling, and the source of the reading adopted in this edition.  Textual notes are represented by the book icon: Textual notes button

Footnotes are revealed on mousing over the text and will be revealed when clicked on.

What citation tools do you have?
The site supports the Chicago and MLA format. Click on the Citation icon to download in RIS format.

What content is available for free?
Drama Online has much content that is freely discoverable, this includes play descriptions, genre definitions, playwright and practitioner biographies. You can use our Advanced Search (see below) to find a play to perform using refining filters (period, author etc) and if you are looking for a specific cast size. You can also use this tool to find a monologue to perform. Users will not be able to access the play or book content itself unless they are subscribers. Drama Online also gives freely available information on who to contact regarding performance rights (see Production Enquiries below).

Can I print out  and save any content from Drama Online?
You can print out and save content according to the page view you are on. Before doing so however, please be aware that copyright restrictions apply as described by our legal terms and conditions . It is important that you read these terms and conditions before using Drama Online. By using the Website, you indicate that you accept these terms of use and that you agree to abide by them. 

How do I make bookmarks and notes?
As you work on Drama Online you can personalise the site as you go. Click on the yellow stars to add things to your bookmarks. When you are working in the text you can click on the Note icon to make a note or comment next to the text. The tag tool is for differentiating your bookmarks and organising them into projects. You will need to Sign In in order to use these features.

How does Related Content appear?
All content items within Drama Online have been indexed according to our taxonomy. This enables related content to appear.


How do I find the information I need?

Use the primary navigation bar to browse the list of plays and other content, playwrights, genres and periods.

Quick Search
The Quick Search box appears in the top of every page on the site apart from in the play/book. Enter your term into the box and select Search (or just press the Enter key). Quick Search performs a full-text search on all content types on Drama Online.

Search Filters
When you have your search results displayed, use the filters on the left hand side to refine your search even further. For example a search on 'Epic Theatre' can be further refined by looking at epic theatre from a specific period, author, theme or setting. Or you can choose to only look at plays to do with epic theatre.

Advanced Search
You can use the Advanced Search tool to conduct more specific search enquires by entering one or more search criteria. Boolean AND, OR and NOT are supported (e.g. shakespeare AND tragedy). Use quotation marks (" ") to find an exact phrase (e.g. "Merchant of Venice"). Use asterisks to match partial words in fields (e.g. stage*).

Play Finder
You can conduct very detailed searches for plays. In Advanced Search use the drop down filters to select content Type: Plays. Then Select Add Filter. You can add as many filters as you like here. You can choose the number of male/female roles, the number of scenes, even the number of words. This feature is available publicly to help you find plays to perform or study, though you will not be able to access play content unless your institution has access.

Monologue Search
You can search across our entire play content for monologues to perform or study. Go to Advanced Search and select Type: Monologue, then use the filters to refine your search. Clicking on the search results will take you the exact position of the monologue in the play.

Search within this text
Once you have selected a play or other text to read in Drama Online in you can then use the Search With this Text feature in the Reader to conduct specific searches only within the text you are reading.

Production Enquiries

If you are keen to apply for amateur performance rights to any of our plays you'll need to approach the performance rights holder. Use our Production Enquiry feature on the play Overview page to find the correct contact information for this.  Production enquiry button

What are Play Tools?

Play Tools include a Character Grid to help you view where characters appear and with whom they interact in the play.

Selecting a character or multiple characters will highlight their interactions only.

Play tools character grid

How do I make a Part Book (view the lines for my character only)?
If you select one of the dots in the Character Grid you'll be taken directly into the Reader to view the lines for that character and scene only.

Words and Speeches
On the same page as the Character Grid you will find a bar chart representing the shape of the play in terms of words and speeches. Selecting a character or specific characters from the Character Grid will change the graph to reflect the words and speeches for those selected. Hover over the bars for the precise word count.

Play tools words and speeches graph