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Historical Documents for Social Dance
Other Dance Resources
A Dancer's Journey
An interactive exhibit about Martha Graham. Includes background information, video and audio clips.
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
- dance notation
Try searching by your choreographer or dancer as an author
- In Primo or Worldcat, 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.
American Antiquarian Society(AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 1-5 (1693-1912) This link opens in a new window
Searches digitized American magazines and journals published from the mid-18th century to the late-19th century. Could locate descriptions of popular dance styles or mentions of dance figures well known at the time.
Early English Books Online (EEBO) This link opens in a new window
Contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700. Under "Advanced Search" enter Dance as a "Subject Keyword" to see a selection of dance-related publications.
Here are a few subject headings to try in Primo and WorldCat to locate collections of writings and republished or translated edition of Dance Texts.
Dance AND Sources Primo or WorldCat
Dance AND Works to 1800 Primo or WorldCat