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Hope Library Guides

.Dance (General): Historical Dance Sources

This is the main portal to databases and other library sources for dance research at Van Wylen Library, Hope College.

Historical Documents for Social Dance

Other Dance Resources


Primary sources can be challenging to locate!  Make an appointment with a librarian to hep figure out a strategy for locating them for your particular research topic.

Strategies for Searching for Primary Sources

There are many types of primary resources that can inform your research on dance history.  Here are some suggestions for finding them:

Consider what you are hoping to find

You won't find all of these things for a given topic, but it helps to at least start by considering what you would like to try to find

  • autobiographies of choreographers or dancers
  • other writings by choreographers or dancers
  • performance reviews in newspapers or magazines
  • videos of performances
  • photographs
  • dance notation

Try searching by your choreographer or dancer as an author

  • In HopeCat or MelCat, change the search to Author (last name first!)
  • This will usually bring up both books and videos
  • Try historic newspapers for reviews, for example:

Other dance history documents can be found in a variety of places.

Here are a few subject headings to try in HopeCat and MeLCat to locate collections of writings and republished or translated edition of Dance Texts.

Dance AND Sources HopeCat or MeLCat

Dance AND Works to 1800 HopeCat or MeLCat

Research/Instruction Librarians