ACRL Arts Section Blog

July 10, 2009


Filed under: Announcements,Dance Librarians Discussion Group — Helice @ 4:26 pm

A press release courtesy of Libby Smigel of the Dance Heritage Coalition.  And remember, if you attend tomorrow’s Dance Librarians Discussion Group meeting you can receive your own hard copy of the recent DHC publication, Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use of Dance-Related Materials.

UCLA inducted as 9th Dance Heritage Coalition member, with Genie Guerard to serve on the DHC board of directors.

Washington, DC – The Dance Heritage Coalition (DHC) has formally accepted the UCLA Library into its membership.  Genie Guerard, head of the Manuscripts Division in the Department of Special Collections of UCLA’s Charles E. Young Research Library, represents UCLA on the DHC board of directors.

The DHC is a coalition of major American libraries, archives, and museums with significant collections in dance.  With the addition of UCLA, there are nine DHC members throughout the country.  Each member organization selects its representative to serve on the board of directors, developing and initiating a range of projects to advance the field of dance preservation.

DHC Board Chair Norton Owen, director of preservation at the historic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, welcomed UCLA to the Coalition.  “The efforts of the Dance Heritage Coalition are made on behalf of the entire field, and it is therefore crucially important that we include the widest possible range of dance repositories.  The collections safeguarded by UCLA are clearly significant, and we are thrilled to now include UCLA as a member of our team.”

David R. Humphrey, director of the Museum of Performance & Design in San Francisco, was pleased that a second institution from the West Coast had been accepted into the Coalition.  “The dance field has had a major impact from the innovation and ingenuity of choreographers and dance companies from the western United States.  The UCLA Library has been a key contributor to the documentation and preservation of dance in the West, and this addition helps to geographically balance representation in the work of the Dance Heritage Coalition.”

The UCLA Library collection is especially rich in materials from early modern dance and “classic” modern dance:  papers and oral history of Ruth St. Denis, the Margerie Lyon collection on Ted Shawn, Agnes de Mille, and many more.  In 2006, the UCLA Library obtained what is believed to be the largest private collection of materials by and about Isadora Duncan, including manuscripts in her own hand, letters from her daughter Irma, and more than 300 art works by 13 artists.

Guerard sought membership in the DHC after meeting DHC staff in April 2008, when a DHC-sponsored focus group on copyright and fair use was convened on the UCLA campus. After the meeting, Guerard shared some of UCLA’s prized materials with the meeting participants.  “UCLA’s participation in the DHC will make the history of dance pioneers of the West more broadly available, promoting scholarship and performance. It also offers UCLA opportunities to facilitate collaborations locally and nationally that will enhance collection development and shared resources.  The DHC’s past and current initiatives are active, focused, and effective. I look forward to working with my DHC colleagues to further unite key dance resources, historians, and curators from across the country,” Guerard said.

DHC Executive Director Susan L. Wiesner said, “I am thrilled that the UCLA Library has joined the Dance Heritage Coalition, and that Genie Guerard is the board representative. The UCLA library is a leader in the acquisition of collections of national and international importance.  The holdings in dance represent some of the best collections of America’s modern dance pioneers. These collections, combined with Genie Guerard’s knowledge and energy, will provide another stellar addition to the DHC

Genie Guerard brings a strong background in library practice to the board as well as a firsthand acquaintance with dance.  In addition to her current responsibilities, her contributions to the development of the Online Archive of California earned her two awards from UCLA, including the 2004 Librarian of the Year honor. She has been invited to present her work at professional conferences of the Society of American Archivists, the Society of California Archivists, and the Western History Association, as well as in programs of libraries and historical societies such as the Huntington Library and the Hayward Area Historical Society. Guerard has also curated and co-curated exhibitions for the Charles E. Young Research Library, including the Isadora Duncan exhibition.  She completed the MLIS at UCLA in 1998.

Founded in 1992, the Dance Heritage Coalition is a national non-profit alliance of institutions holding significant collections of materials documenting the history of dance. Its mission is to preserve, make accessible, enhance and augment the materials that document the artistic accomplishments in dance of the past, present, and future. The DHC pursues its mission by encouraging, initiating, and developing collaborative projects among the dance communities, library and archival fields, scholarly institutions, and individuals in four essential areas: access to materials, the continuing documentation of dance employing both traditional methods and developing technologies, preservation of existing documentation, and education within and beyond the field of dance.

Member organizations of the Dance Heritage Coalition are:

American Dance Festival, Durham, NC

Dance Notation Bureau, Inc., New York, NY

Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket, MA

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, New York, NY

Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Museum of Performance & Design, San Francisco, CA

UCLA Library, Los Angeles, CA

1 Comment »

  1. I usually don’t normally post on many Blogs, nevertheless I just has to say thank you… keep up the amazing work. Ok regrettably its time to get to school.

    Comment by Adell Cooper — February 1, 2010 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

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