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Major Collections: Documents of the Dance


The Jerome Robbins Dance Division is a unique public repository for the documents of dance, past and present. Its vast holdings have been assembled through acquisition, original documentation, and generous gifts from the dance community. Major collections housed in the archive include:

Gregory Hines Collection of American Tap Dance: films and videos, texts, and photographs documenting the history of tap dance

Lincoln Kirstein Collection: more than 3,000 items, including rare books, prints, and personal correspondence

Denishawn and Humphrey-Weidman Collections: photographs, press clippings, letters, and designs mirroring the development of American modern dance

Cia Fornaroli Collection given by Walter Toscanini: more than 3,300 rare books, and tens of thousands of libretti, scores, manuscripts, prints, photographs, clippings, and playbills. While the collection is especially strong in 19th-century Italian dance materials, it also contains two manuscripts from Renaissance Italy: the "Giorgio" manuscript and the "Il Papa" manuscript (for a transcription of the “Il Papa” manuscript click here).

Isadora Duncan Collection of Irma Duncan: thousands of items relating mostly to the years Isadora Duncan spent in Russia, 1920–24, as well as to Irma Duncan's own dance career

Roger Pryor Dodge Collection of Nijinsky Photographs: more than 500 photographs of Vaslav Nijinsky and dancers who performed with him

Gabriel Astruc-Diaghilev Collection: more than 1,300 documents relating to Serge Diaghilev bringing Russian opera and ballet to western Europe

Lillian Moore Collection: rare books, research notes, and more than 250 lithographs documenting the history of ballet, especially in the 19th century

Doris Humphrey Collection: more than 1,000 letters and manuscripts about Humphrey's personal and professional life

American Ballet Theatre Archives: more than one million letters and production, booking, and tour files, 1936–67, supplemented by more recent acquisitions from and about the dance company, documenting more than 700 artists and 300 ballets

Ruth Page Collection: photographic scrapbooks, set and costume designs, correspondence, and films, 1915–54

Rouben Ter-Arutunian Collection: more than 8,700 set and costume designs and models, as well as sketchbooks, production notes, programs, press clippings, technical drawings, and photographs of the designers works

Rudolf Nureyev Collection: more than 1,000 films, videotapes, and audiotapes documenting Nureyev's life and career

Agnes de Mille Collection: films, photographs, choreographic notes, and manuscripts documenting de Mille's career as a dancer, choreographer, and writer

Merce Cunningham Collection: photographs, films, videotapes, audiotapes, posters, theatre programs, dance company production files, and choreographics notes, dating from the 1930s to the present

Jerome Robbins Collection: business and personal correspondence, photographs, set and costume designs, engravings, scrapbooks, films, videotapes, audiotapes, and selections from Robbins's personal library

Precious gifts from the collections of Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, Hanya Holm, Angna Enters, Jose Limon, Pauline Lawrence Limon, Walter Terry, Carl Van Vechten, Sol Hurok, Tatiana Chamie, George Platt Lynes, Irving Deakin, Jose Greco, Alexandra Danilova, New York City Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joffrey Ballet, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Committee for the Dance Division.