The Specialised Information Service (SIS) Performing Arts is based at the University Library Frankfurt and offers people in the field of theatre and dance studies an effective and free way to access sources of information. The SIS’s main tasks are to expand the informational infrastructure and to develop and maintain the SIS web portal http://www.performing-arts.eu/.

Since 2015, the project tasked with setting up the Specialised Information Service (SIS) Performing Arts has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of its Information Services Programme.


The aim of the SIS Performing Arts is to fulfil the needs of researchers and those involved in university teaching in a variety of related fields:

  • Theatre studies: theatre, music theatre
  • Dance theory: dance, concert dance, performance studies, kinesiology
  • Popular theatre and entertainment: circus, variety shows, cabaret, comedy
  • Niche topics related to theatre: performance art, happenings and media art.
The specialised information provided aims to fulfil the needs and wishes of the academic usership. To this end, the SIS Performing Arts offers a wide variety of information on the field for the purposes of students, researchers and university teaching, has brought the various sources together and provided a user-friendly platform for their use. The SIS web portal is also available to interested users and academics from other disciplines; however, these user groups do not have access to the licenced products within the web portal.

The Specialised Information Service (SIS) Performing Arts has purchased the following licence packages with the help of the Center of Competence for Licensing:

The metadata are freely accessible on the SIS web portal: www.performing-arts.eu/. Authorised and/or registered users can view the texts and videos in their entirety using the web portal. The following users are authorised:
  • Academic personnel and staff
  • Institutions in the field (archives, collections, museums)
  • Members of the professional associations for theatre studies, theatre history and dance research.

To use the SIS licences, please register with our project partner, the Center of Competence for Licensing. You can register on the SIS Performing Arts website. Here you will find information on which products are licenced and which users have access to them.
We have put together a set of instructions for registration. After registering, you can sign onto the SIS web portal http://www.performing-arts.eu/ as an authorised user and will have access to the licenced products.

Yes. To do justice to the entire range of literature in the field of performing arts, we need your help! If you have been unable to find a title you need using the SIS web portal, or if you are unable to receive it using the interlibrary loan programme, please send your suggestion for a new acquisition to the SIS editorial team. We will evaluate your suggestion and send you a response.

Using the search function on the main page of the SIS web portal, you can search the contents of all available sources. The results are sorted according to relevance. You can limit your search according to specific criteria using the various search options provided (data provider, type of material, collection/series, date). An Advanced Search allows you to tailor your search from the beginning, e.g. to look for a certain author or title in a specific language.

Using the faceted search, you can limit the list of search results according to specific criteria, e.g. data provider, type of material, and date. You can combine several options and de-select them to further tailor your search.

The SIS portal has been used to index data sources which address the entire range of information relevant to the field:

  • Specialised library catalogues such as the University Frankfurt Library`s theatre and dance section or the Academy of the Arts Berlin Library’s collection
  • The most significant archived books and other items housed by collections in the German-speaking world in the field of performing arts
  • Licences obtained by the SIS to full texts and e-books, with access for authorised users
  • Catalogued tables of contents of relevant periodicals in the field of theatre, dance and performance art, with the opportunity to search for specific articles (title and author)
  • Digitalised materials and full texts from digitalisation projects such as the German Research Foundation-funded Theatre Playbills Project by the Düsseldorf University and State Library
The sources available on the SIS web portal are being continually added to, and the sources already indexed are regularly updated.

Metadata are (structural) data which describe a resource, an entity, an object or other types of data.
This means that metadata provide information about the features of a document, e.g. its author, the time of its creation, its technical format, its content, and who owns the rights to it. These metadata are a collection of defined elements which can be used to locate, use, and administer a resource, an entity, etc.

Yes. At the bottom of the list of results, you will find the following link: ' Get RSS Feed'.
The search will now be displayed in the form of a feed and regularly updated in your RSS reader.

Yes, the list of individual results will include items similar to your search query. To find them, go to the bottom of the data set; the almost-matches will be listed there under “Similar Items”.

You can subscribe to the free SIS Performing Arts newsletter. You will receive information on new developments and on topics of interest at regular intervals.

The SIS Performing Arts has teamed up with the Society for Theatre Studies to operate the Performing Arts News Service, which evaluates and edits news from the world of theatre and dance studies. The sources thus provided can be subscribed to via an RSS feed.

You can send your suggestions and requests to redaktion@performing-arts.eu, or click on the Feedback button in the www.performing-arts.eu portal.

The SIS team would be glad to help you in person if you have specific questions:

Project Leader and Coordinator
Franziska Voß
Tel: +49 69/ 798-39574

Technical Implementation
Julia Beck
Tel: +49 69/ 798-39387

Graphic Design
Axel Dörrer
Tel: +49 69/ 798-39213

Library Services
Erzsébet Trautz
Tel: +49 69/798-39244