Most courses will have a course reading list to guide you. Follow the link from your course Moodle, or search Reading Lists.

If you don’t have a reading list to guide you use Library search to find books, articles and films. For help with using Library search see Library Search Guide.


Most subject areas organise a Library session for dissertation students. If this isn’t the case, or if you need more specific help, make an appointment to come and see me.

The guides here will provide you with a general introduction to how to find information for your dissertation topic.

If you need to access material that we don’t hold in the Library you can request it via your Library account (Request material not held by this library).


The Library has a wide range of streamed content and physical DVDs. For streamed content, have a look at the Box of Broadcasts database. This includes content from over 60 free to air channels plus archive material from nine channels. You can search BoB directly. The TRILT database also gives details of programmes held in BoB.

We also have access to the Kanopy database, which offers access to a wide range of streamed films and documentaries.

If the content you need isn’t included in either Box of Broadcasts or Kanopy, you can check if we have the film or performance you need on DVD. Type the title and/or name of the director/playwright into Library Search. You can then restrict your results to DVDs and videos by clicking on Video recording under Format on the left-hand side of the screen (you may need to select More). You can also search specifically for DVDs and videos by choosing Full list of searches on the Library home page and then Video recordings. DVDs are located on Level 4 and have a small x at the beginning of their shelf-mark (e.g. Theatre xKH400.P7 2005). They can be borrowed in the same way as books. There is also a DVD player located on Level 4 in the Sound and Vision Lab.

The Language Resource Library [link] also holds DVDs - details are available via Library Search.


These guides cover topics specific to Music.


Although Library Search is a good starting place for finding articles as well as books it is a good idea to look at subject specific databases as well. These help you focus in on your topic. Databases will find both resources that the Library has as well as some that are held by other libraries. See the list of databases to find out what is available for your subject. For more help with choosing a database contact your College Librarian.


The following websites offer useful resources for students of Music:

Centres, Institutions and Organisations

Freely available Catalogues and Databases

  • Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads: The Bodleian Library holds over 30,000 ballads in several major collections. These have been gathered into a single catalogue which is now presented, along with a scanned image of each ballad sheet, in the Broadside Ballads Project. A search facility is available and you can also browse an index of the ballads.
  • Canadian Music Periodical Index: CMPI is an index to Canadian music periodical literature which provides bibliographic sources for information on all aspects of musical activity in Canada. The CMPI database includes nearly 37,000 entries on articles dating from the late-19th century to the present day. 630 Canadian music journals, newsletters and magazines are represented.
  • Cecilia: A database that helps users to identify where music collections are held in UK libraries. You cannot search the database for individual items, but you can find out e.g. where the papers of a particular composer are held or which libraries have strong collections on particular areas of music.
  • Concert Programmes Database: This freely available database allows you to search for information about collections of concert programmes held in UK institutions. Note that it is not possible for search for individual programmes. You can search by geographical coverage and concert venues, time periods, subjects, and names of performers, concert venues, ensembles, promoters, and collectors.
  • Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology: DDM is an international database of bibliographic records for completed dissertations and new dissertation topics in the fields of musicology, music theory, and ethnomusicology, as well as in related musical, scientific, and humanistic disciplines. Currently contains over 14,000 records.
  • Encore!: Database providing details of sets of vocal scores and orchestral sets held in UK libraries (public, academic and conservatoire). Not all UK libraries are currently included. Note that it is not possible to borrow sets of scores online - this must be done via the Inter Library Loan system.
  • Operabase: A wide range of information and resources including searchable databases of opera performances and festivals around the world, news and reviews, and links to opera resources on the web.


The Library has extensive historical collections of early printed books, manuscripts and archives.


Attribution and avoiding plagiarism

LEADS run academic writing classes designed to help students understand referencing and incorporate sources into your written assessments.

Copyright and IRP issues

Copyright is intended to protect the authors and creators of original material. Guidance on understanding copyright, lawfully using copyrighted materials is available on:

Get help

If you need subject specific help you can make an appointment to see me or you can e-mail me directly at