Member since 2010
Cross-Cultural Dance Resources Collections
School of Film, Dance and Theatre
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Arizona State University
PO Box 872002
Tempe, AZ 85287-2002
The Arizona State University School of Film, Dance and Theater in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is the site of the Cross-Cultural Dance Resources (CCDR) Collections which stands as a monument to the study of dance in cultural contexts. The CCDR Collections are particularly strong in the allied fields of dance ethnology, including: ethnochoreology, ethnomusicology, dance notation, anthropology, religious studies, sociology, area studies, and more. The CCDR Collections functions as a library and archive, and as a hands-on experiential museum with hundreds of objects of material culture, such as: dance costumes, musical instruments, masks, puppets and dolls. The CCDR Collections promotes greater understanding of dance in its cultural context, offering opportunities for study of diverse material, including films, videos, sound recordings, and research field notes. Key archival holdings of the CCDR Collections include resources from modern dance pioneer Eleanor King and dance ethnology pioneer Gertrude Prokosch Kurath. The CCDR Collections is further enhanced by its inclusion of the research archives of dance ethnology scholars Joann Keali'inohomoku, Elsie Ivancich Dunin, and Allegra Fuller Snyder, and personal collections donated by additional dance scholars and artists, anthropologists, and ethnomusicologists.
The School of Film, Dance and Theater in the Herberger Institute is recognized as one of the leading dance programs in the United States. The highly experienced international faculty and staff offer a broad approach to developing artists, educators, and scholars who are actively engaged with the rapidly expanding range of global contexts for artistic practice; from performance to education, from community to online. We recognize and value the creativity and meaning that each student brings to the program. The school is committed to enabling students to find their own unique role within the rapidly changing and expanding horizons of dance culture, and ensuring that students have the skills, experiences, knowledge, and tools to facilitate their continuing success. The School of Film, Dance and Theater is interested in a creative dialogue with our students. We help students learn how to learn, and help launch them on their own unique path. A process of inquiry and evaluation is at the heart of this program. The curriculum is a dynamic learning environment focused on current and future global dance practice and informed by our unique set of principles, the Learning Lens©. Visit dance.asu.edu/about.
The School of Film, Dance and Theater ensures that current global practice is present on campus through our Artist Faculty and Visiting Artist programs, and our special study abroad initiatives such as in China and Europe offer intensive learning experiences.
Recent guest artists in dance have included:
Kimberly Bartosik (New York, USA); Junious Brickhouse (Silver Springs, PA, USA); Vincent Tworkov Cacialano (Manchester, UK); Jojo Diggs (North Hollywood, CA, USA); Laurie Eisenhower (Southfield, MI, USA); Katie Faulkner (San Francisco, USA); Mary Fogarty (Toronto, CAN); Beth Gill (New York, USA); Kathleen Hermesdorf & Albert Mathias (San Francisco, CA, USA); Rickerby Hinds (Riverside, CA, USA); KJ Holmes (New York, USA); Wayne Horvitz (Seattle, WA, USA); Micah "Just Jamz" Abbrey (California, USA); Dai Jian (New York, NY, USA); Emily Johnson (Minneapolis, MN, USA); Bill T. Jones (New York, USA); Jeff "J Boogie" Kelley (Nevada, USA); Aaron Landsman (New Jersey, USA); Claudia LaRocco (New York, USA); Rosemary Lee (London, UK); Tim O'Donnell (New York, USA); Jenna Riegel (New York, USA); Michael Schumacher (Amsterdam, NL); Fitri Setyaningsih (Jogjakarta, ID); Dawn Stopiello (Portland, OR, USA); Tentacle Tribe (Montreal, CAN); Sara Wookey (London, UK); Yasuko Yokoshi (New York, USA).
Dr. Adair Landborn, Curator
Clinical Assistant Professor
back to top
Member since 1996
American Dance Festival
PO Box 90772
Durham, NC 27708
The American Dance Festival is a non-profit organization committed to serving the needs of dance, dancers, choreographers, and professionals in dance-related fields. It presents a six and a half week summer festival of modern dance performances and educational programs, hosts community outreach activities, and sponsors numerous projects in the humanities. Its mission is to create and present new dance works, preserve the modern dance heritage, build wider national and international audiences and enhance public understanding and appreciation for modern dance, and provide training and education for dancers and choreographers.
The American Dance Festival traces its origins to the Bennington School of Dance, founded in 1934 in Bennington, Vermont by Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, Doris Humphrey, and Charles Weidman. Led by Martha Hill, the school was a laboratory in which choreographers could experiment, train students, and create the early works that made modern dance one of the great cultural triumphs of the 20th century. Beginning in 1947, the festival was held at Connecticut College and in 1978 moved to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
The American Dance Festival Archives serves as the repository for records of enduring historical value created and collected by ADF. Its collections are preserved for use by the dance community, including students, scholars, and the general public. The Archives encourages research and scholarship on the historical, cultural, and international significance of modern dance through the ongoing development of its resources, providing access to its collections, and participating in the dance archives community. In all its activities, the Archives supports and furthers ADF's commitment to the creation and preservation of the art form.
Each summer, the Archives documents the festival, primarily by videotaping and photographing performances, showings, classes, panel discussions, and other special events. Videos of performances are available to the public in Duke University's Lilly Library or at other libraries through interlibrary loan. In addition to festival materials, the Archives collects videos, photos, audiotapes, and personal papers created by other individuals and institutions that document aspects of modern dance. Its holdings include the papers of choreographers Pearl Primus and Laura Dean and the records of the ADF's documentary Free to Dance: The African-American Presence in Modern Dance, which aired on PBS' Great Performances: Dance in America in 2001.
back to top
Member since 2015
BAM Hamm Archives
The BAM Hamm Archives reveal the 150-year history of BAM, but they also tell a story of the communities—civic and artistic—that made BAM what it is today.
The Archives contain approximately 3,000 linear feet of materials dating from 1857 to the present, including newspaper clippings, photographs, books, playbills, promotional material, video, architectural plans, posters, administrative records, production elements, art and other materials.
The Archives and its staff provide a rich and unique resource for researchers interested in BAM artists, the history of performing arts in the US, and in Brooklyn's social history.
back to top
Member since 2015
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)
24700 McBean Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355
California Institute of the Arts, colloquially known as CalArts, was founded with the intent to bring different art forms together and allow them to cross-pollinate, in the process fostering collaboration and sparking innovation. As an internationally recognized school for the performing and visual arts-film, theater, art, dance, music and writing-the CalArts artistic philosophy places an emphasis on an exploration of new paths beyond conventional boundaries.
The CalArts Library's Special Collections & Institute Archives department houses collections of rare and unique materials of enduring cultural and historical value in support of research and art making by scholars, artists, students, and the general public within CalArts and from around the world. CalArts' dance collections include the archives of Dance Camera West.
back to top
Member since 2015
Chicago Film Archives
329 West 18th Street, #317 & #610
Chicago, IL 60616
Chicago Film Archives (CFA) is a regional archive dedicated to collecting, preserving, and providing access to films that represent the Midwest. Its purpose is to serve institutions and filmmakers by establishing a repository for institutional and private film collections; serve a variety of cultural, academic and artistic communities by making the films available locally, nationally and internationally for exhibition, research and production; and serve national and regional culture by restoring and preserving films that are rare or not in existence elsewhere.
Chicago Film Archives has acquired over 100 collections (25,000+ moving image items) since it opened its doors in 2003. These collections contain films across all genres, including the films and videos produced and collected by choreographers/dancers Ruth Page and Sybil Shearer. The Ruth Page Collection contains 35mm and 16mm films that date back to 1922 and include home movies made during her tour of Asia in 1929. Additionally, there are videotapes of performances, television shows and rehearsals as well as taped interviews with Ms. Page and her colleagues that span most of the Twentieth Century. This collection is fully processed thanks to the support of the National Endowment of the Arts and the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation. All of the digitized films and tapes stream and are described on CFA's website.
The late modern dancer Sybil Shearer left behind a rich and complex collection of film materials including negatives, prints and audio materials. The Morrison-Shearer Collection contains rehearsals, home movies, both solo and company performances at Ms. Shearer's studio in Northbrook, IL and constructed dance films shot by photographer/cinematographer Helen Morrison. This collection is partially processed thanks to the support of the Morrison-Shearer Foundation. The fully processed films are hosted on CFA's website and are organized into solo and company performances.
In 2014, CFA produced an archival film presentation that explores the early works of Chicago artists Ruth Page and Sybil Shearer. It premiered at Columbia College's Film Row Cinema in Chicago.
back to top
Member since 2001
Dance Notation Bureau
111 John Street, Suite 704
New York, NY 10038-3123
Founded in 1940 by Ann Hutchinson Guest, Helen Priest Rogers, Eve Gentry, and Janey Price, the Dance Notation Bureau (DNB) is the only American institution of its kind to record and archive dance using a symbol system called Labanotation, first published by Rudolf Laban in 1928. The first ballet preserved in Labanotation in the United States was Billy the Kid notated in 1942 at the request of choreographer Eugene Loring. He wanted his famous ballet to be notated in order to help establish ownership of the choreography. Other landmarks for the DNB include the 1948 notation of Doris Humphrey's The Shakers; the commissioning by Ballet Society (predecessor to the New York City Ballet) to notate four of George Balanchine's ballets; and the establishing in 1968 of the DNB Extension for Education and Research, founded as part of the program of the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University. Now a wide variety of works are notated and around one hundred eighty performances are staged from scores each year. Colleges and universities across the country offer courses in Labanotation, from introductory to advanced levels, and professional notator certification is offered at the DNB.
The DNB is devoted to housing and preserving dance scores and production materials to make them accessible for performance, classroom use, and scholarly research. Works are notated during rehearsals where the notator records the steps, imagery, motivation, and characterization given to the dancers by the choreographer or stager. A dance score functions for dance in the same way a music score functions for music; each provides a blueprint of the work to which the performers add their artistry. Along with the score, DNB has a collection of more than 10,000 pieces of supplementary material including production information, music scores and CDs, DVDs/videotapes, photographs, set designs, prop designs, lighting designs, costume sketches, hair/makeup specifics, programs from performances, cast lists, audition information, and other knowledge needed to stage the dance.
Central to the DNB's mission is its archive. The archive includes more than 790 Labanotation scores of the work of more than 270 choreographers, making it the most substantial collection of original Labanotated dance scores in the world. In addition to scores of ballet, modern, and jazz works, which were created for presentation in a theatrical setting, the DNB library also holds a collection of folk, historical, social dances and other dance notation scores from around the world. The library also maintains a collection of printed materials including dance books, dance notation scores other than Labanotation, instruction manuals, as well as an archive of audiovisual materials.
Recent DNB activities include the implementation of an online Notated Theatrical Dances Catalog, which is available from the DNB website; the notation of modern American dance masterpieces, including works of Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, and Mark Morris; the transcription of handwritten scores to LabanWriter, a computer software application that functions like a word processor, allowing Labanotation scores to be edited and stored on a computer in publication quality format; and the presentation of notation workshops for professional dancers to read the Labanotation score to stage a work. The DNB continues to serve the dance community at large by preserving, contracting, and notating important dance works for future generations.
back to top
Member since 2015
Harry Ransom Center
The University of Texas at Austin
300 West 21st Street
Austin, Texas 78712
Contact: Dr. Eric J. Colleary
Cline Curator of Theatre and Performing Arts
The Ransom Center is an internationally renowned humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin. Its extensive collections provide unique insight into the creative process of writers and artists, deepening our understanding and appreciation of literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts. Visitors engage with the Center's collections through research and study, exhibitions, publications, and a rich variety of program offerings including readings, talks, symposia, and film screenings.
The Ransom Center's extensive performing arts holdings include notable collections in dance dating from 1790s to the present, including among many others photographer Fred Fehl's photographic documentation of New York dance from 1940-1985 covering companies like American Ballet Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet, and New York City Ballet. The Ransom Center holds the papers of Robert Greskovic, dance critic for the Wall Street Journal; Mary O'Donnell, a dancer and choreographer who had her start with the Martha Graham company; and numerous collections of designers such as those by Léon Bakst and Nicholas Roerich for the Ballet Russe.
back to top
Harvard Theatre Collection
Cambridge, MA 02138
The Harvard Theatre Collection encompasses nearly every aspect of the history of stage performance throughout the world, with special emphasis on the history of the English and American stage and the history of dance. The areas of popular entertainment, such as circus, minstrelsy, magic, fairgrounds, vaudeville, and cinema, and music theatre, including opera, are also well represented.
Within the collection are approximately three million playbills and programs; 1,200,000 photographs and negatives; 300,000 engraved portraits and production scenes; 20,000 original scene and costume designs; more than 8,000 promptbooks; 700,000 copies of sheet music; also extensive collections of manuscripts, letters, contracts, and documents; journals, diaries, and business records; playtexts, libretti, scenarios, and screenplays; printed books; posters, window cards, advertisements, and handbills; albums and extra-illustrated books; rare and modern printed books; account books; scrapbooks, newsclippings; periodicals; medals, coins, tokens, passes, tickets, and souvenirs; videotapes and audiotapes.
The dance holdings of the Theatre Collection constitute one of the largest collections in this country. Among the dance special collections are, to name but a few, the George Chaffée collection of books, libretti, prints, and drawings on the history of ballet; the Edwin Binney, 3rd, collection of prints and books on ballet; the Sergeyev collection of manuscript choreographies documenting the Russian ballet of the late Imperial period; the Rose Winter and Marian Hannah Winter Memorial collection on popular entertainment; the William Como/Dance Magazine collection on contemporary dance; the Mona Inglesby collection on the International Ballet Company; the George Balanchine archive; the E. Virginia Williams/Boston Ballet collection; the Stravinsky-Diaghilev Foundation collection; the Howard D. Rothschild bequest on the Ballets Russes; dozens of Bakst and Goncharova-Larionov designs; the magnificent John Milton and Ruth Neils Ward Collection of music for dance and music for the theatre, which includes thousands of ballet libretti; the Joseph E. Marks Collection relating to Ted Shawn and Jacob's Pillow; the papers of Violette Verdy; the papers of Vera Zorina (Birgitta Hartwig) and the papers of Stella Bloch.
The Harvard Theatre Collection is open to all, regardless of institutional affiliation.
back to top
Member since 1996
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival
358 George Carter Road
Becket, MA 01223-4001
(413) 243-9919, ext. 150
Jacob's Pillow is the oldest and most comprehensive dance festival in America, located in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. Founded in 1933 by Ted Shawn, it was the headquarters for his groundbreaking company of men dancers during the period just after his breakup with Ruth St. Denis and the dissolution of their Denishawn Company. Since the Men Dancers disbanded in 1940, Jacob's Pillow has hosted legions of dance artists and companies from across the country and around the world, and continues to conduct a summer school serving the dance field in many capacities.
The Jacob's Pillow Archives document the history of the Festival and School and the artists who have taken part in these activities, with particular emphasis on Ted Shawn, Ted Shawn's Men Dancers, and the Denishawn Company. The collection includes correspondence, photographs, programs, board minutes, books, costumes, posters, audiotapes, and scrapbooks. The Archives are administered by the Pillow's Preservation Program, which also documents the ongoing activities of the Festival (principally on video, organizes exhibits exploring various aspects of dance history, and shares a growing collection of online resources.
Preservation is one of four program areas at Jacob's Pillow, along with Dance Presentation, Creative Development, and Education. The center for most of the Pillow's preservation activities is Blake's Barn, an 18th-century structure that has been relocated and reconfigured specifically for this purpose. In addition to a central area for exhibits and lectures, a reading room with several video viewing stations provides access to the collection. The research facility is open year-round by appointment and is available to the general public during the 10-week summer season from noon until final curtain, Tuesdays through Sundays.
back to top
Member since 1997
Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute of The Ohio State University
119 Thompson Library
1858 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1225
Founded in 1951, the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute serves as an archive for performers, playwrights, choreographers, designers, producing organizations, and theatre and dance companies, among others, and advances the study and inspiration of the performing arts. In association with the Department of Theatre, the Institute acquires, preserves, and makes accessible materials documenting the performing arts for the purposes of scholarship, education, and enjoyment; provides an active teaching component; serves as a source for new works creation, development, and reconstruction; and enriches patrons' experiences of these materials which reveal our performing arts culture and history. It is open to the public as well as to the Ohio State University community, and enjoys local, national, and international research use.
The Ohio State University supports dance documentation through the work of the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute and other library collections, the Department of Dance, the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design, and the Wexner Center for the Arts.
The Institute holds significant dance and movement materials in collections such as the Twyla Tharp Archive, the Bebe Miller Collection, the Randy Skinner Collection, Marcel Marceau moving image materials, the Robert Post Collection, and the Sylvia Westerman Ballet Collection. In addition, the Institute maintains photograph collections and design collections that contain both historical materials on microfilm and original designs from the late nineteenth century through the present, including numerous costume, scene and lighting designs for dance.
The Department of Dance, whose graduate program was rated first in the December 1996 Dance Teacher Now survey of dance program heads in the United States and Canada, has a long history of involvement with dance documentation. In addition to being the home of the Dance Notation Bureau Extension for Education and Research, the department is responsible for the development of LabanWriter (a word-processing-like software for Labanotation), supports dance documentation projects, and offers multimedia workshops in dance documentation and preservation. For more information on the Dance Department, see www.dance.osu.edu
The Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) is a leading academic center for interdisciplinary teaching and research in computer graphics and visualization supporting graduate education and faculty research. Use of ACCAD's motion capture system brings programmers, videographers, choreographers, and producers together to capture movement in 3D and carry this data into a variety of environments for various purposes. Motion capture at ACCAD has been used as a documentation tool to preserve the signature movements of noted performers Marcel Marceau, Robert Post, Stelarc, and Bebe Miller.
The Wexner Center for the Arts is a multidisciplinary contemporary arts center with programs in the visual, performing, and media arts. In each of its program areas, the Wexner Center seeks to support and encourage artistic experimentation and investigation through artists' residencies and commissioned projects. Such initiatives provide artists with crucial financial support, access to professional resources and technical expertise, and opportunities for interaction with the university community and the public. The Wexner Center has provided residencies for artists such as Bill T. Jones for his landmark work Still/Here, Elizabeth Streb for her trampoline-powered breakthrough work UP, Amanda Miller for her collaboration with composer John Zorn that won several prizes in the international Bagnolet competition, as well as other projects with Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp, Ann Carlson, Bebe Miller, Liz Lerman, Irene Hultman, and Kevin O'Day. The Wexner Center also has extended commissioning support to many other dance artists including Urban Bush Women, Meg Stuart, Victoria Uris, and Donna Uchizono. The Wexner Center is one of 12 leading national dance presenters that constitute the National Dance Project, a project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, to provide support for the development and touring of significant new work.
back to top
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
40 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023-7498
The online catalog for the dance collection can be accessed at www.nypl.org/collections
The Dance Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is the largest and most comprehensive archive in the world devoted to the documentation of dance. While the Collection contains more than 34,680 reference books about dance, these account for only 3 percent of its holdings. Other resources available for study free of charge include films and videotapes, audiotapes, clipping files, iconography, and manuscripts and memorabilia.
Founded in 1944 as a separate division of The Research Libraries of The New York Public Library, the Dance Division is used regularly by choreographers, dancers, critics, historians, journalists, publicists, film makers, graphic artists, students, and the general public. Working with the Division's vast resources, a user can reconstruct an Elizabethan court dance, a 19th-century Italian tarantella, or a 20th-century Ceylonese devil dance; determine what makeup Nijinsky wore in Scheherazade; learn the problems Picasso faced in working on the ballet Parade from letters in his own hand; or compare the modern dance styles of Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and Doris Humphrey.
Chronicling the art of dance in all its manifestations-ballet, ethnic, folk, modern, and social--the Division is much more than a library in the usual sense of the word. It is part museum, part film production center, and part consulting service to the professional dance community. It preserves the history of dance by gathering diverse written, visual, and aural resources, and it works to ensure the art form's continuity through an active documentation program. Ongoing oral history interviewing and videotaping of significant dance performances and choreographic works ensure a record for future study that otherwise would not exist.
back to top
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-0002
The Performing Arts Reading Room can be accessed at www.loc.gov/rr/perform
The collections of classified music, music and literary manuscripts, microforms, and copyright deposits, as well as special collections, are available for use in the Performing Arts Reading Room, Madison Building (LM113), from 8:30-5:00, Monday through Saturday, excluding federal holidays. Some collections or individual items may require prior permission for use. Materials documenting dance also can be found in other divisions and accessed through their reading rooms. Primary documentation and descriptions of ethnic and American vernacular dance are housed in the Archive of Folk Culture in the American Folklife Center. Visuals, such as the dance photographs of Arnold Genthe are retained in the Library's Prints and Photographs Division. Motion pictures and videotapes of works by choreographers such as Agnes de Mille and George Balanchine can be viewed in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division. Hours of these special reading rooms are 8:30-5:00, Monday through Friday.
The Music Division of the Library, created in 1896, derives from the thirteen books on music literature and theory contained in Thomas Jefferson's library, which was purchased by Congress in 1815. From these books the Division's holdings have grown to eight million items covering all branches of the performing arts, including theater and dance, mainly from the past two and a half centuries. The Library of Congress is the nation's library, with services to Congress, to executive and judicial branches of government, to academic and public libraries in the United States and abroad, and to the scholars, researchers, artists, and scientists who use its resources. Housing more than 110 million items in three buildings on Capitol Hill, the Library is the largest library in the world. Dance materials at the Library reflect the place of dance as an intrinsic component of the nation's cultural tapestry.
The Library of Congress has a long history of supporting dance that begins with Library of Congress patroness, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. In 1928, Coolidge commissioned former Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev dancer/choreographer Adolph Bolm to create a work to be premiered in the Coolidge Auditorium. Composer Igor Stravinsky created the score and the collaboration resulted in the premiere of Apollon Musagète. (Six months later, George Balanchine created a version for the Ballets Russes.) Coolidge's patronage of dance also included five commissions for modern dance pioneer Martha Graham, including the iconic dance masterpiece, Appalachian Spring (1944, to commissioned music by Aaron Copland). The Music Division holds more than fifty special collections in dance. The Library holds significant collections of materials relating to the pioneers of American modern dance including, Alvin Ailey Collection, Daniel Nagrin Collection, Erick Hawkins Collection, Katherine Dunham Collection, Martha Graham Collection, Lester Horton Collection, New Dance Group Collection, Sophie Maslow Collection, and Pola Nirenska Collection, among many others.
The ballet-related special collections are primarily focused on materials that are associated with the Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev, including the Adolph Bolm Collection, Alexandra Danilova Collection, Bronislava Nijinska Collection, Serge Grigoriev/Ballets Russes Archive, and Serge Diaghilev/Serge Lifar Collection.
Exhibitions that focus on special collections in dance, including presentations on Alvin Ailey and Ballets Russes are available at http://myloc.gov/exhibitions/alvinailey/Pages/default.aspx; http://myloc.gov/exhibitions/balletsrusses/pages/default.aspx. The presentation An American Ballroom Companion, ca.1490-1920, a collection of over 200 digitized social dance manuals, contextual narrative, and seventy-five moving image clips can be found at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/dihtml/dihome.html. The Katherine Dunham Collection website contains photographs, articles, and moving image examples of Dunham's anthropological research, choreography, and interviews: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/html/dunham/dunham-home.html. The Martha Graham Collection is represented by over 1,200 digitized items that focus on Graham's life and work to 1949: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/html/marthagraham/marthagraham-home.html.
back to top
Museum of Performance + Design
893B Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94107-1122
Established in 1947 as the San Francisco Dance Archives by Russell Hartley, a dancer, artist, and designer of costumes and scenery for the San Francisco Ballet, the collection has grown to embrace all performing arts, from such popular pastimes as circus and vaudeville to Chinese opera and theatrical design. The Museum of Performance + Design (MPD) is an independent institution with a research library and archive dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available to the public information and materials on the performing arts, with special emphasis on the performing arts history of the San Francisco Bay Area. Since the Gold Rush Era, San Francisco has attracted the major performers and leading dance companies of the world, making its holdings wide-ranging and diverse.
The Museum provides an active exhibitions program with permanent and temporary exhibits on all aspects of performing arts, as well as extensive programming for adults featuring conversations and interviews with remarkable artists, video showings, concerts, lectures, and workshops. The Library is open to the public; hours and additional information may be found through its website www.mpdsf.org.
The collection at MPD serves performing artists, costume and set designers, students, scholars, the media, and the general public as well as historians whose work touches on social and cultural history. The Library also serves as the archives for the San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Opera, Stern Grove Festival, the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, and other cultural organizations. The Library's LEGACY Oral History Project documents the personal stories of recognized performing artists in the area and its Video Collection houses notable performances of Bay Area theater companies, dance companies, and musical organizations.
back to top
Member since 2011
The Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Founded in 1887, the Newberry Library is an independent research library in Chicago dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, especially in the humanities. The Newberry acquires and preserves a broad array of special collections research materials relating to the civilizations of Europe and the Americas, and it promotes and provides for their effective use, fostering research, teaching, publication, and life-long learning, as well as civic engagement. The library is free and open to the public, and anyone may become a reader who is at least 16 years old (or a high school junior) and conducting research on a topic covered by the collections. Reading rooms are open 9 am – 5 pm Tuesday – Friday, and 9 am – 1 pm Saturday.
Throughout its 125-year history, the Newberry has collected a variety of materials relating to the performing arts, including dance treatises dating from the 15th through 19th centuries. Since the early 1980s, with the guidance of Chicago dance documenter, collector, and journalist Ann Barzel, the library has become a significant center for the study of dance history in Chicago and the Midwestern region. Barzel’s own massive dance collection – 500 document boxes of photographs, subject files, posters, programs, and other paper materials; 3,200 books; 70 periodical titles; and 30,000 feet of her own 16 mm. films of local and touring dance companies dating from the 1930s – forms the nucleus of the library’s Midwest Dance Collection.
As part of the Midwest Dance Collection, the Newberry also collects dance-related personal papers, ephemera, books, and archives of dance studios and dance companies centered in the greater Chicago area, as well as material relating to national and international companies as they perform locally. The ever-growing Midwest Dance Collection now comprises 78 discrete collections, including the personal papers and memorabilia of individual dancers, journalists, photographers, publicity agents, and choreographers, and the records of dance companies, schools, festivals, and dance advocacy groups. Of particular note are the papers of Margot Grimmer, Edna McRae, Elisa Stigler, Ernestine Stodelle, and Mark Turbyfill. The records of the Stone-Camryn Studio, Chicago City Ballet and School, Doris Humphrey Society, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, MoMing Dance and Arts Center, Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble, Performing Arts Chicago, and Chicago Dance and Music Alliance are also available for research.
Additional dance-related materials are to be found throughout the Newberry collections, notably in its strong Midwestern manuscript and archival holdings documenting music and theater, and in extensive sheet music and theater program collections. Most importantly, dance’s cultural heritage may be studied within the context of the library’s broad and deep special collections focused on the history and culture of Europe from the Middle Ages and the Americas (including indigenous peoples) from the era of discovery.
Abstracts for all Newberry dance and other manuscript collections may be searched or browsed at http://mms.newberry.org. The abstracts contain links to online collection-level catalog records and more detailed collection inventories. Researchers may also search across collection inventories on ArchiveGrid. ArchiveGrid offers keyword searches of the inventories and catalog records of thousands of contributing institutions that may be narrowed to the holdings of a particular library. To discover the contents of Ann Barzel Dance Research Collection films and other dance-related materials at the Newberry, it is also necessary to consult the Online Catalog. Reference inquiries may be submitted online at http://www.newberry.org/contact-librarian.
To encourage study and knowledge of its collections, the Newberry offers short and long-term fellowships for scholars; teacher workshops; and public exhibits, seminars, and programs on dance topics. The library’s Stone-Camryn lecture series has celebrated dance and dance history since 1984 in programs featuring Robert Joffrey, Igor Youskevitch, Rosella Hightower, Gerald Arpino, Lori Belilove, Gus Giordano, and other figures of regional, national, and international significance.
back to top
Member since 2015
92nd Street Y Archives
1395 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10128
The 92nd Street Y is a cultural institution and community center located on New York's Upper East Side. In addition to presenting performing arts programs (classical, jazz, and popular music, as well as dance performances), it offers a series of talks and conversations, literary readings, film screenings, adult education, schools for music, art and dance for children and adults, professional development programs, Jewish education, cultural and community programs, and educational outreach programs for public school children. Since 1935, 92Y's Harkness Dance Center has been a historic home of modern dance, nurturing the talents of such pioneers as Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, and Merce Cunningham. 92Y Archives include administrative records, personal papers, printed materials, photographs, audio and video recordings, and artifacts and memorabilia documenting the institution's activities.
back to top
Member since 2014
Elmer L. Andersen Library, Suite 111
222 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Founded in 1971, the Performing Arts Archives (PAA) documents the unique and thriving performing arts community in the Twin Cities. With particular focus on theater, music, and dance, the PAA now holds more than 125 collections, including the archives of some of the community's most influential dance companies: The Minnesota Dance Theatre; Minnesota Dance Alliance; James Sewell Ballet; Ballet Arts Minnesota; the papers of dancer, choreographer, and teacher Gertrude Lippincott, and those of dance historian and dancer John Munger. Visit https://www.lib.umn.edu/scrbm/paa.
back to top
Member since 2015
Capital Gallery Building
600 Maryland Avenue, SW
Suite 3000 (third floor)
Washington, DC 20024-2520
Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities.
back to top
Member since 2008
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Library
Young Research Library
Research Library Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
The UCLA Library Catalog is accessible to users anywhere at catalog.library.ucla.edu, and online finding aids for many of the collections are available at www.oac.cdlib.org/institutions/UCLA. UCLA Library special collections are open to all researchers over the age of eighteen. Materials can be consulted in the special collections reading room but do not circulate. Further information on the UCLA Library, including hours and locations of facilities housing special collections, is available at www.library.ucla.edu
In the Library's special collections, dance holdings range from nineteenth-century ballet to ethnic dance to contemporary modern dance and include programs, photographs, personal papers, and designs. Among the personal papers are those of early modern dance pioneers Isadora Duncan, Maud Allan, and Ruth St. Denis; Duncan's creative collaborator, manager, and lover Edward Gordon Craig and his mother, Ellen Terry; and Mary Desti, a close friend of Duncan's, as well as her son, Preston Sturges. Yuriko Kikuchi, principal dancer for the Martha Graham Company, is represented in the papers of her husband, Charles Kikuchi, and in photographs by Barbara Morgan. Also of note are the collection of dance critic and photographer Arthur Todd; the papers of Ernest Belcher, founder of the Celeste School of Dance and producer of ballets for Hollywood Bowl concerts; Bonnie Cashin's costume designs for the Fanchon and Marco Dance Troupe; Andrew West's photographs of the Guelaguetza; the records of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, which featured a world arts and culture festival; and the papers of dancer and artist Marta Becket, founder of the Amargosa Opera House in Death Valley, where she has staged performances since 1968.
In addition, the Library's acclaimed music holdings encompass manuscripts, sheet music, and recordings of dance music for stage, screen, and television. Records of film studios, directors, and actors also contain dance-related materials. The dance and music collections are complemented by the holdings of the renowned UCLA Film and Television Archive, whose collections contain all-encompassing documentation of the twentieth century.
Further background for these collections is provided by circulating materials in the Charles E. Young Research Library that serve the teaching and research needs of faculty and students in the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures and in other fields of study as well as the general public. These materials, which include monographs, journals, DVDs, videocassettes, streaming media, electronic texts, and databases, support interdisciplinary and intercultural research on performance and creativity, dance education, and choreography.
Ranked among the top ten academic research libraries in the U.S., the UCLA Library houses one of the country's leading special collections of rare books, manuscripts, historic photographs, and other unique materials. These collections are supported by an extensive circulating collection of more than eight million books, fifty thousand serial titles, and hundreds of thousands of digital resources.
back to top
Member since 2015
University of California at Irvine
Langson Library, 5th floor
PO Box 19557
Irvine , CA 92623-9557
The University of California, Irvine, is a public research university located in Irvine, California, and one of the 10 general campuses in the University of California system. The Dance Department within the Claire Trevor School of the Arts offers a comprehensive education that includes the techniques of ballet, modern, jazz, tap and selected world dance forms and improvisation. Other areas of study include choreography, dance and technology, dance history, critical issues in dance, music for dancers, Laban notation, dance training methods, dance costume design, and dance science.
The Dance Collection in UC Irvine's Special Collections & Archives contains 4,000 books and periodical titles and 60 archival collections related to dance performance and theory, choreography, and theory of motion from the 17th century to the present. Other materials include archives and manuscripts, dance cards, performance programs, and photographs. It includes the papers of noted UCI faculty members Eugene Loring, Olga Maynard, and Donald McKayle. Nearly all modes of dance are represented, including concert dance, social dances, world dance, and physical movement and exercise.
back to top
Member since 2015
University of Texas at Austin
School of Fine Arts
2306 Trinity St.
Austin, TX 78712-1478
Contact: Beth Kerr, Theatre and Dance Librarian
Founded in 1938, the Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Fine Arts at UT Austin was the first university theatre program in the state of Texas. Academic programs encompass various areas, including: acting; directing; dance; design; theatre for young audiences; theatre history, performance studies, dramaturgy, literature and criticism (performance as public practice); playwriting; theatre education; and theatre technology (costume, lighting, scene, and stage management).
With over 500,000 books, scores, and pamphlets focused on the core subject areas of art, art history, music, theatre, and dance, UT Austin's Fine Arts Library has one of the largest such collections in the Southwest. With the addition in July 2009 of the collection of the former Audio Visual Library, the subject matter extends beyond the Fine Arts to include the Liberal Arts. Archival dance collections of note include the Igor Youskevitch Collection.
back to top