Frequently Asked Questions of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division

Frequently Asked Questions 

Line drawing of women; Goncharova
Line drawing, 1920; Natalia Goncharova.
  1. Do I need an appointment or a library card to access your collections?

    In general, no appointment is necessary to access our collections. However, some items may be off-site or restricted for various reasons. Prior to your visit, we strongly suggest that you carefully read and follow the tips outlined in the Plan Your Research Visit guide.  And yes, you will need a library card to access all of our materials. 

  2. How do I request the item I want?  

    If the location is listed in the Research Catalog as “Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance” and “AVAILABLE” then the item is held onsite and no advance request is required.  For onsite items, make your request when you visit by filling out a paper call slip at the Print Delivery Desk on the 3rd floor of the Library for the Performing Arts.  You will need to contact the Division at in advance of your visit if you see any of the following messages in the catalog record:

    • “Check w/ Staff”

    • “Permit needed”

    • “Preservation”

    • “By Appt Only”

  3. How do I request materials indicated as OFFSITE in the catalog?  

    If the location of the item you wish to consult is listed as “OFFSITE” in the research catalog, you can either follow the link to request it or you can find further ordering instructionsIf the location given is “OFFSITE ROSE”, you can either follow the link to request it or use this formOff-site requests should be made at least 72 hours in advance of your visit.

  4. May I take photos or get copies of your materials?

    You are welcome to use your own digital camera (without flash or tripod) to photograph most items for your own personal research use during your visit. If you would like to order low-resolution reproductions for research or high-resolution reproductions for publication or other projects, the library can provide images. Some material may not be copied or scanned because of fragility or donor restrictions. Please visit the Copies and Reproductions page for more information.

  5. Can I purchase copies of moving image or audio materials?

    NYPL is now accepting requests for copies of audio and video recordings. Please refer to the Audio and Video Files request page where you can fill out and return a Duplication Request Inquiry Form to the Library's Permissions and Reproductions Services. Note that NYPL does not lend audio or visual recordings for exhibitions or any other usage, and duplicates need to be purchased abiding by intellectual property law. 

  6. Are your collections digitized and available online?  

    Only a small portion of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division’s collections are digitized and available online. Many of the digitized materials, especially moving image and audio recordings, are restricted to consult only at the Library for the Performing Arts. However, the digitized materials in the public domain or for which the NYPL holds copyright are viewable from anywhere. We are adding new material to this site regularly.

  7. A moment from the Rhapsody in Blue ballet, photograph
    A moment from the Rhapsody in Blue ballet, Dance Magazine 1929; White Studio

    Do you offer class or group orientations to your collections?

    Yes, we welcome the chance to introduce our collections to students and other groups. If you are interested, please contact us well in advance of the date you wish to visit by filling out the visit request form.  You can find more information about our educational programming here.

  8. Do you accept donations?  

    We welcome inquiries about donating rare or unique materials that fit our collecting guidelines. Unfortunately, the Jerome Robbins Dance Division can no longer accept donations of clippings, playbills already in our collections, or most books and periodicals. For more information, please contact the Division directly at

  9. Can you recommend resources I can use to archive my own materials?  

    The Dance Heritage Coalition provides an online resource called the Artist’s Legacy Toolkit to help artists organize their materials at any stage in their career.

  10. What if I still have questions?  

    If your question has not been answered here, please contact the Jerome Robbins Dance Division directly at, 212-870-1657, or reference staff at the information desk on the 3rd floor, 212-870-1627, can further assist you in your research.


Want to learn more about us? Read our 2017 Annual Report.