An alliane of major dance collections, formed to document and preserve America's dance.
Dance Heritage Coalition

Choreographing Your Search

Dance Collection, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Sample Searching Exercises

These exercises are intended to give you practice conducting a variety of searches and to get you familiar with the information found in the catalog records.

Searching by subject and limiting by material format
1. How many entries on Kabuki are in the Dance Catalog?
Of these, how many describe graphic works?

Searching by author
2. Locate a book written by Susan Au entitled Ballet and modern dance. When was it published?
How many pages does it have?

Understanding a periodical article entry
3. Locate an article by Nancy Reynolds entitled "Documenting Mr. B." In which periodical does the article appear (read "in" note)?
Month and year of the periodical?
Pagination of the article?

Identifying subject heading terminology
4. What name does the Dance Collection use for the Mexican hat dance?(Hint: try a word search, then search the record's subject headings)
How many entries describe films or videotapes showing the Mexican hat dance?

Searching by subject and limiting the search
5. How many cataloged items does the Dance Collection own that relate to Martha Graham?
Of these, how many films or videos were created before 1969?

Searching a choreographic work by subject, limiting by material format
6. How many films and videotapes does the Dance Collection own which show or discuss Martha Graham's dance, Lamentation?
How many feature Martha Graham herself performing?

Searching "about" versus "in"
7. How many works does the Dance Collection own having to do with Conté notation?(Hint: check both Dance Notation--Systems and Dance Notation, Works in.)
How many of these are texts in the notation?

Searching by author
8. Who are some of the choreographers who have created dances to music by Claudio Monteverdi?

Searching by author, limiting by 2-D graphic
9. How many actual photographs by Baron Adolf de Meyer are owned by the Dance Collection (i.e., NOT photographs reproduced in books)?

Searching by author, limiting by manuscript
10. Locate a manuscript written by José Limón. What is the nature of this manuscript?
Does the Dance Collection hold any music manuscripts for works choreographed by Limón?

Identifying the correct subject heading to refine your search
11. What different subjects are used by the Dance Collection to describe Tap dancing instruction?

Searching by subject and/or word
12. Several choreographers have built on ideas or themes used by the German writer Goethe.
How many are identified when you search by subject?
How many are identified when you search by key word?