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American Women: Resources from the Moving Image Collections

Performances and Performing Arts

Warren K. Leffler, photographer. Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Shirley Chisholm. [1971]. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

The Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division maintains a collection of videotapes, beginning in the 1970s, of special programs held at the Library of Congress (LC).

LC Performance Collection

This collection consists largely of:

  • Poetry readings of such acclaimed women poets as Anne Sexton (1972, VAA 4591), Maya Angelou (1984, VBG 4072), Jane Kenyon (1988, VBF 3433-3434), Rita Dove (1993, VBL 0647-0648), and Ana Castillo (1994, VBM 1209-1210)
  • Readings of PEN fiction award-winner Helen Norris (1993, VBK 2416-1417) and novelists Ursula K. Le Guin (1974, VAA 4644) and Joyce Carol Oates (1975, VAA 4903)
  • Keynote addresses and talks by notable women in public life and academia, including Shirley Chisholm (1989, VBF 9251-9252), Sandra Day O'Connor (1993, VBK 2406), and Evelyn Higginbotham (1998, VBO 7618)
  • Music and dance performances of flutist Sandra Miller (1998, VXA 7888-7889), harpsichordist Irina Rees (1998, VXA 7918-7919), and the Baroque Music Masters (1976, VAA 4925)

Martha Graham Collection

The NEA/Martha Graham Collection comprises 44 videotapes and one 35mm film documenting the ballets and dance techniques of modern dance pioneer Martha Graham (1894-1991). Three ballets for which Graham created three perspectives—a performance recording, a full rehearsal of the work, and a segment demonstrating specific Graham techniques employed in that performance—are Cave of the Heart (1986-89)Errand into the Maze (1985-89), and Acts of Light (1989?). Other titles are available through the Library of Congress Online Catalog.