Dances of India

Dancing celestial deity (Devata). India (Uttar Pradesh). Early 12th Century. Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dances of India Research Guide

Welcome! This page supports the Dances of India class. The research process is a creative one, and students are strongly encouraged to explore resources outside of this guide.

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.

Personal Librarian:
Charlotte Price
108 LeFrak Center

 Reference | CLIO | Articles | Images | Moving Images | Music | Citation


Reference Sources

Columbia Gazetteer of the World is a database of names, descriptions, and characteristics of over 165,000 places in the world. Includes place-names, physical characteristics, political properties, and natural and agricultural resources.

Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, & Africa: An Encyclopedia provides access to four volumes that concisely document the history of countries and cultures within these important regions.

Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion includes the origins of clothing and body adornment, the development of fabrics and technologies, and the social meanings of dress, as well as representative costumes from a wide range of historical eras.

International Encyclopedia of Dance includes articles on all aspects of dance, including theatrical, ritual, dance-drama, folk, traditional, ethnic, and social dance.

Oxford Music Online is the access-point for Oxford music reference subscriptions and products, including Grove Music Online, The Oxford Companion to Music, and The Oxford Dictionary of Music.

Search CLIO and Browse the Stacks

CLIO provides access to the vast resources of the Columbia University Libraries, including Barnard Library and the Music Library. Search the Catalog for book and media materials.

Search Tips:

  • Use truncation (like danc* or wom*n) to widen your search
  • Use keywords such as Illustrated books or Pictures to retrieve books with images
  • Use catalog records to identify useful subject headings 
  • Substitute different century numbers or country names as needed
  • Use keyword searches to locate items, and then go to the stacks and browse those items as well as the ones nearby


Browse the Butler or Milstein stacks with these call numbers, Links lead to CLIO subject searches.

Can't find what you need? Worldcat searches libraries worldwide. If a title isn't available via Columbia University Libraries, you may request it via Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan.


Journal Articles

JSTOR includes full-text articles from back issues of more than 1200 scholarly journals.

International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance is a bibliography for the performing arts around the world.

International Index to the Performing Arts is a multidisciplinary index to the performing arts. Includes full-text.

ProQuest Direct full-text articles from several thousand magazines, journals, newspapers, etc. covering many subjects.

Blogs and Magazines

Cinema Nritya Gharana is a very thorough blog with a good resources page on classical Indian dance.

Sruti is India's monthly magazine for the performing arts. We have access to issues from 2013 to the present.


ARTstor documents the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, design, anthropology, ethnographic and women's studies, as well as many other forms of visual culture.

AP Photo Archive provides access to Associated Press photographs from 1844 to the present, audio files of radio broadcasts, text of wire stories, and info-graphics.

Digital Public Library of America aims to make the realm of openly available materials more easily discovered and more widely used. This resource offers a single point of access to millions of items including photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. Users can browse and search the DPLA's collections by timeline, map, format, and topic.

Europeana is a single access point to millions of books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitised throughout Europe. It is an authoritative source of information coming from European cultural and scientific institutions.

Nautch Photos, from Professor Emerita Frances Pritchett's website on South Asian traditions, consist of a series of photos of nautch dancers from the 1800s into early 1900s.

NYPL Digital Collections is a living database, digitized from the New York Public Library's collections, with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.

Moving Images

Moving image materials are available from the media collection on the 1st floor of the Barnard Library, as well as through Butler Media Center. There are also a number of useful streaming resources, including:

World Dance History Youtube channel provides access to course-related videos, including playlists arranged by subject.

Dance in Video contains 500 hours of dance productions and documentaries by the most influential performers and companies of the 20th century. Selections cover ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, experimental, and improvisational dance, as well as forerunners of the forms and the pioneers of modern concert dance.

Ethnographic Video Online is a comprehensive resource for the study of human culture and behavior. Researchers can explore a wide range of materials—from documentaries and field notes to written ethnographies and reference works.

EVIA Digital Archive Project is a collaborative endeavor to create a digital archive of ethnographic field video for use by scholars and instructors. The Project has been developed through the joint efforts of ethnographic scholars, archivists, librarians, technologists, and legal experts.

Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) is a cooperative digital library for resources from and about the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean. dLOC provides access to digitized versions of Caribbean cultural, historical and research materials currently held in archives, libraries, and private collections.

World Dance History on YouTube has two good channels on Indian dance videos. is a richly described collection of films from South Asia, primarily footage and unfinished films. Highlights include:


Contemporary World Music contains 50,000 tracks that delivers the sounds of all regions from every continent. Users may browse by facets such as place and genre.

Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries is a virtual encyclopedia of the world's musical and aural traditions. The collection provides educators, students, and interested listeners with an unprecedented variety of online resources that support the creation, continuity, and preservation of diverse musical forms.

Bibliography & Citation Resources

Research and Documentation Online is a great handbook that shows how to cite resources in your research for the widely used formats of MLA, APA, Chicago, and CSE. Additional resources include tips for evaluating sources, a list of style manuals, and a glossary of research terms.

CiteSource from Trinity College has a lot of examples of citing unusual sources, like tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, live performances, and more.

Zotero is a free tool for managing citations, organizing research, storing documents,sharing your references with others, and creating formatted bibliographies, footnotes, and in-text citations.