In the programmatic goals of the DHC, preservation refers to the physical safeguarding of documentary materials and objects that hold information about a dance or dance tradition. However, preserving the physical materials presents many challenges. The variety of formats used to document dance, including magnetic tape, sound recordings, digital information, manuscripts, and photographic material, all have different preservation requirements and vary in their long-term stability.
In particular, the DHC is focusing on the critical need for preservation initiatives for dance recorded on videotape. Due to both the wide-spread use of video to record dance and the inherent instability of the magnetic medium, this is a pressing concern.
In 2002, the DHC commenced a three-phase project, Facing the Magnetic Media Crisis. Phase I focuses on videotape vulnerability and format obsolescence by creating a database registry, the National Dance Heritage Videotape Registry, to identify those tapes and collections that are in immediate need of preservation. Phase II will provide modest funding for re-mastering, copying, or conservation of endangered videotapes selected from the Registry. For more information on this project or to fill out a Registry questionnaire, please contact the DHC. To address issues concerning the transfer of analog videotape to digital for preservation purposes, the DHC has initiated the Digital Video Preservation Reformatting Project.
In this section, you will find three links that provide information on dance preservation issues.
Beyond Memory: Preserving the Documents of our Dance Heritage
Dance Videotapes at Risk and A Copyright Primer for the Dance Community
Digital Video Preservation Reformatting Project