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Dance Research at the Library of Congress

This guide helps users navigate the wide variety of resources related to dance at the Library, including reference materials, special collections, music scores, and databases.


Ecole de Mouvement. Pen and watercolor drawing of students at Branislava Nijinska's Ecole de Mouvement. 1919. Branislava Nijinska Collection. Library of Congress Music Division.

Most archival material related to dance is available from the Music Division in the Performing Arts Reading Room. However, many valuable dance resources are also available throughout the Library of Congress: Prints and Photographs Division, Manuscript Division, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, American Folklife Center, and in the general collections.

Because of the many locations in the Library of Congress for dance research materials, this guide is organized by resource type. Use the navigation menu on the left-hand side of the guide to learn more.

About the Performing Arts Reading Room

The Performing Arts Reading Room is the access point for the collections in the custody of the Music Division at the Library of Congress. Numbering approximately 20.5 million items and spanning more than 1000 years of Western music history and practice, these holdings include the classified music and book collections, music and literary manuscripts, iconography, microforms, periodicals, musical instruments, published and unpublished copyright deposits, and close to 500 special collections in music, theater, and dance.