May 25, 2022

Acquisitions: The Joffrey Ballet’s Archive Donated to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

From The NY Times:

In its 61-year history, the Joffrey Ballet has commissioned Twyla Tharp’s first ballet, revived Nijinsky’s “Afternoon of a Faun” with Rudolf Nureyev and worked with other 20th-century giants like George Balanchine.

Film and documents from those moments are among the highlights from the Joffrey’s archive, which has been donated to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’s Jerome Robbins Dance Division. The gift coincided with the company’s return to New York for the first time last week since it moved to Chicago in the mid-1990s.

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See Also: More Details About the Archive From the Joffrey Ballet:

The Joffrey Ballet Archive measures approximately 575 linear feet, and includes six boxes of 8mm and 16mm film as well as over 60 boxes of beta and VHS, making it one of the most significant collections within the Dance Division’s holdings. The collection includes rare film footage, annotated conductor scores, the photographs of Herbert Migdoll and personal and business correspondence of the company’s co-founders Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino.


The Joffrey Ballet Archive will be processed over the next year at NYPL’s Library Services Center in Long Island City, and then made available for research at The Library for the Performing Arts’ Jerome Robbins Dance Division.

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division of The New York Public Library is the largest and most comprehensive archive in the world devoted to the documentation of dance. Chronicling the art of dance in all its forms, the Division acts as much more than a library, actively preserving the history of dance by gathering diverse written, visual, and aural resources, and work to ensure the art form’s continuity through active documentation and educational programs.

Founded in 1944, the Dance Division is used regularly by choreographers, dancers, critics, historians, journalists, publicists, filmmakers, graphic artists, students, and the general public. While the Division contains more than 44,000 books about dance, these account for only a small percent of its vast holdings. Other resources available for study free of charge include papers and manuscript collections, moving image and audio recordings, clippings and program files, and original prints and designs.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.