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

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The following publications provide information on access to dance and dance-related materials, the continued documentation of dance, preservation of existing dance documentation, and education regarding methods, standards, and best practices.

America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: The First 100

In the fall of 1999, the DHC solicited nominations for an initiative to name 100 irreplaceable dance treasures. Over 900 nominations from across the full range of American dance artistry, forms, and traditions were submitted and vetted through a three-stage process of selection committees. This publication consists of narrative about each treasure and is enhanced by numerous photographs.

Published in 2000, the contributors to the booklet include Elizabeth Aldrich, Laura Brown, Ilene Fox, Lynn Garafola, Camille Hardy, Monica Moseley, Fred Nahwooksy, Norton Owen, Sali Ann Kriegsman, and Loras John Schissel.

The DHC is pleased to announce that America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: the First 100 is now a touring exhibition. Consisting of fifty still images and a similar number of moving images that can be accessed on an interactive kiosk, the first venues included San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum; Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival; Columbus (Ohio) Cultural Arts Center; and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Beginning in the fall of 2005, the DHC will make this exhibition available to qualified venues. For further information, please contact the DHC at dhc [at] danceheritage [dot] org.

Beyond Memory: Preserving the Documents of our Dance Heritage

This publication on documentation and archival planning is geared to the dance community and is divided into two sections. Part one covers methods of documenting dance and how to improve this process; part two discusses organization and care of the documentation.

Securing Our Dance Heritage: Issues in the Documentation and Preservation of Dance

Written by Catherine Johnson and Allegra Fuller Snyder and edited by Michelle Forner, Securing Our Dance Heritage was published by the Council on Library and Information Resources in 1999. The publication focuses on the management of the resources that document our dance heritage.

Sustaining America's Dance Legacy: How the Field of Dance Heritage Can Build Capacity and Broaden Access to Dance in the Next Ten Years

During 1999-2000, the DHC conducted a major leadership initiative that put forward a new vision and plan for celebrating and sharing America's dance. The National Dance Heritage Leadership Forum involved dozens of prominent professionals from both inside and outside the field of dance heritage who reviewed the field's achievements in the past decade and articulated the outcomes that are needed in the next ten years. This publication is the final report for the National Dance Heritage Leadership Forum.

Dance Videotapes at Risk and A Copyright Primer for the Dance Community

In 2003, the DHC created two best practice guides. Dance Videotapes at Risk outlines some basic steps to safeguard and preserve videotape collections in the face of tape deterioration and obsolescence of format and equipment. A Copyright Primer for the Dance Community provides a brief overview of copyright issues, especially those relating to videotape production and use.

Cataloging Guidelines

This is a group of cataloging guidelines to assist librarians and archivists in providing online cataloged access to dance research materials. There are four sections:

Processing Procedures Manual for Dance and Other Performing Arts Collections

The DHC's Processing Procedures for Dance and Other Performing Arts Collections provides detailed instructions in arranging, re-housing, and describing an archival collection of dance and other performing arts collections.

This document is currently under revision by members of the library and archival community.

Learning Applications to Document Dance

A project of the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum, Bay Area Video Coalition, Theater Artaud, and World Arts West, the LADD report, which was published in 1997, suggests standards for quality videotape production and documentation.

Magnetic Storage and Tape Handling

Published in 1995 by the Commission and National Media Laboratory, St. Paul, MN, this publication details long-term storage requirements and guidance on care for magnetic media.

Digital Video Preservation Reformatting Project: A Report

In July 2002, the DHC called a meeting to design an experiment to determine the most appropriate method of transferring analog videotapes to digital for preservation purposes and using dance videotapes as the testing focus. In the spring of 2003, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the DHC a grant to complete this work. The report, which includes recommendations, is now available in an electronic version. In the past seven years, technology has changed, and the DHC has sponsored other work on Video Preservation Reformatting. Recommendations will have changed from those contained in this report. For further information, please contact dhc [at] danceheritage [dot] org.