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Using the Library's Databases

Alexander Street Resources

Alexander Street resources Ambrose currently subscribes to are related to theatre, English, and theology. Different collections can be searched and include:

  • Audio Drama: The L.A. Theatre Works Collection
  • BBC Literary Adaptations in Video
  • National Theatre Collection
  • Performance Design Archive Online
  • The Royal Shakespeare Company Collection
  • Theatre in Context Collection
  • Theatre in Video: Volume I Theatre Performance and Design Collection
  • Twentieth Century Religious Thought, Volume I: Christianity

Searching Alexander Street Databases

Alexander Street will look different depending on whether you reach it from a link in the Theatre section of the database list (ProQuest Theatre Performance and Design Database) or Theology section (Twentieth Century Religious Thought, Volume I: Christianity). 

Clicking on the Alexander Street logo at the top of the page will take you back to the Theatre-related landing page. To get to Twentieth Century Religious Thought you can choose that collection from the top left menu > My Collections > Twentieth Century Religious Thought. Or choose any of the other collections.

A basic search can be done by entering search terms in the top menu, which will include all of our subscribed content.

Choosing a collection will allow you to do a basic or advanced search in that specific collection. Go to the next tab to see the Advanced Search.


Each collection has specialized fields in the Advanced Search, or you can do an advanced search of the entire collection. You can see which collections are being searched at the top of the Advanced Search page.

Below is an example of an Advanced Search from the main page. You'll notice you can select which collection(s) you would like to search, though you do not get the same Advanced Search options here as you would by doing an Advanced Search from an individual collection. Keep scrolling to see examples of the Advanced Search from the National Theatre Collection and Twentieth Century Religious Thought.

If you are looking for something specific, you can put in as much information as you have in the open fields. If you are looking more generally you can include keywords in the Words Anywhere field and then use the check boxes to target the area(s) you are interested in.

A few things to note:

  • As you make selections and deselections with the checkboxes, the number of items that match your criteria will change at the top of the page
  • Some of the fields have drop down menus to the right of the box, use these to find specific terms that will help you target the right content using the language of the database
  • Select and de-select the formats that you are interested in using to make your search results more relevant


This is an example of the specialized Advanced Search fields available in the Twentieth Century Religious Thought, Volume I: Christianity. Note the additional fields for Person Details that can be expanded at the bottom that can help with getting specific perspectives.

This is an example of the specialized Advanced Search fields available in the National Theatre Collection:

Here is an example of a simple search placing the phrase "systematic theology" in the Words Anywhere field, in the Twentieth Century Religious Thought collection.

We know before even clicking Search that there will be 186 results for this phrase. In Step 4 we can examine how to refine these results.

From the results we can see where our search term is found in the results - Title and Series or in the Fulltext/transcript of the item. Below this is the list of results, which will default to being arranged by relevance of the Title, but can be changed to sort by date.

If you would like to start a new Advanced Search, you will need to click on Twentieth Century Religious Thought at the top of the page, and then click Advanced Search.

When large numbers of results are returned you can search through these results using the search bar at the top of the results. If you would prefer to start a new, basic search, you can click the radio button to search all of the Collection.

There are a number of ways to narrow our results in the Refine Results section. On the left hand side of the results page there are a list of items that can be expanded and used to narrow down your search results when a large number of results are returned.

If you expand an item in the list, as Author / Creator is below, you can see the number of results in parentheses. Note that the categories listed are different from the options provided in Advanced Search.

You can also click on More in a given area and it will provide the option to include or exclude each item in that list.


When viewing results you can hover over See details on the left hand side of each result to get more information, or you can click on the title.

If you are interested in a particular result but would like to continue sorting through the results before examining, you can click the "+" icon to the right of the record and it will add it to your list. The list can be viewed by clicking on View List in the top menu bar.

Note: this list will only be visible for the duration of your session. To keep them for longer sign in and add them to a Playlist.

You can also email items or share them via printing or exporting.

From the item you have a few more options for actions, including generating a citation. Citations can also be generated for an entire list of items in Alexander Street.

Go to the next tab for how to create a free Alexander Street account.


For saving your lists over multiple sessions you can create an Alexander Street account and add items to a Playlist. This will exist separately from your Ambrose accounts though you can use your Ambrose email address to sign up.

To create an account click on the profile "head" in the top right corner, which will bring up the option to click Create new account in the top menu bar. Click on this and enter your information. An email will be sent to you with a link to login and set a password.


Once you are signed in you can add items to a Playlist when viewing them. Access playlists from the top menu bar. If you don't see the bar, click on Menu in the top left corner.