An alliane of major dance collections, formed to document and preserve America's dance.
Dance Heritage Coalition
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To improve access to archival materials and primary resources that document the history of dance, this section will link you to the DHC finding aids and to Choreographing Your Search, the DHC's online tutorial for in-depth dance research that focuses on primary sources available in archives and research libraries.

Access also includes information about cataloging more materials into library catalogs and national databases as well as creating cataloging and processing tools that assist this work. To view the DHC cataloging guidelines for dance materials, please look at the Cataloging section of this website. Likewise, the website's selection of Publications provides additional information on accessing our dance heritage.

To provide access to some of the still and moving images that highlight the richness of America's dance heritage, the DHC has created a traveling exhibition, based on its initiative America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: the First 100. The touring exhibit consists of approximately fifty still images, along with a similar number of film clips that can be accessed on an interactive kiosk. Sponsored by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Capezio/Ballet Makers Dance Foundation, the exhibition opened at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum (now called the Museum of Performance & Design) in February 2004, moving to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival for the summer of 2004, and to the Columbus (Ohio) Cultural Arts Center in the fall, with the last venue being the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts during the summer of 2005.

The DHC is pleased to make the exhibition available to qualified venues. In 2008, it traveled to the Boulder Arts Commission and the Denver Public Library. For further information about bringing this extraordinary exhibition to your institution, please contact the DHC at dhc [at] danceheritage [dot] org.

Finding Aids

A finding aid is a document that provides contextual information about an archival collection and generally provides an inventory or description of the contents of the collection. The finding aids on the site are drawn from DHC member institutions and you can browse or search all of the finding aids for all DHC member institutions or only those describing collections held by a single repository. You can also explore finding aids in general subject categories (for example, "modern dance") by selecting the Subject List button.

Choreographing Your Search

One of the goals of the Dance Heritage Coalition is to make primary research materials and dance documentation easier to locate and easier to access. This tutorial is one of a series of projects to increase the accessibility of dance research to a broader community. Offered first as a series of workshops in 1993 by Catherine Johnson, founding director of the DHC, the current online version of Choreographing Your Search was updated in 2000.