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Performing arts information 






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Corporate information & collection management


Managing performing arts information resources 


Preservation & conservation

Press clippings


Video recordings




Generic arts and information management theories and trends provide a context for managing performing arts information. The following pages provide useful web sites and citations:

Managing performing arts information resources


Collection-level description: separating the woods from the trees, by Deborah Stumm, Susanne Moir and Meredith Lawn. Paper re development of structured machine readable collection descriptions to provide online access to performing arts collections at the State Library of NSW. Presented at VALA Conference 2004.


The computerized gaze and the performing arts. Paper by Joh Hartog in Australian Drama Studies no 32 (April 98):109-130. Describes the development of an electronic database to store data relating to events presented at the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust. Has implications for the way the cultural industry and cultural organisations collect and use information. Australian Drama studies is published by the Australasian Drama Studies Centre  


For the record: documenting performing arts audience development initiatives. A publication of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters in the United States, presenting a framework for developing organisational capacity for documentation and audience development, setting goals for documentation, employing methods for recording a project, utilising resources for document projects and performances, and determining the potential uses for documentation products.  

Preserving America's performing arts.Papers from the Conference on Preservation Management for Performing Arts Collections, 1982, Washington DC/ edited by Barbara Cohen-Stratyner and Bridgette Kueppers. Published by the Theatre Library Association. Despite advances in technology remains a useful package of brief papers on managing performing arts documentation.  

Performing Arts Resources. A series of publications by the Theatre Library Association. Includes articles on resource materials in the fields of theatre, popular entertainment, film, television and radio, information on public and private collections and essays on conservation and collection management of theatre arts materials.  


Preserve Inc. A non-profit centre for archival documentation and preservation of the performing arts, particularly dance, in the United States. Services include consultations, workshops, surveys and publications including Dance archives: a practical manual for documenting and preserving the ephemeral art.


Singapore's first performing arts library: library@esplinade. Article by Ruth Creamer outlining the beginnings, design, galleries, subject villages and services of the new library at The Esplanade. Art Libraries Journal, vol 28, no 4 (2003):p34-38.  


The State Theatre, Sydney Currently documenting its performance history and would like to hear from anyone with memories, recordings, scrapbooks, photographs, playbills and home movies regarding the live entertainment presented by the State from 1929 until 1952. Would like to hear from musicians and other performers who appeared with the State Symphony Orchestra, State Havana Band and State Show Band; plus technicians and stage managers associated with the theatre during this period. Contact: Brian Barnes, General Manager, GPO Box 1609, Sydney NSW 200. Email





Automation requirements for music information. An article by Lenore Coral. MLA Notes Sep 1986:14-18, published by the Music Library Association.

Building a Virtual Music Library: Towards a Convergence of Classification within Internet-based Catalogues. an articles by L. Adcock. Knowledge Organization 28(2001)2: 66-74.

Indexing and retrieving special materials in online catalogues. An article by Lenor Coral. Fontes Artis Musicae  Vol 40 no 2 Apr-Jun 1993: 110-115, published by the International Association of Music Libraries.


Issues in content-based music information retrieval. An article by Aura Lippincott. Journal of Information Science  28(2002)2:137-142


Music cataloguing and the future. Article by James Cassaro. Fontes Artis Musicae, Vol 41, no 3 1994:245-250, published the International Association of Music Libraries. 


Music libraries in Australian tertiary music teaching institutions. A paper by Georgina Binns, surveying the status of music libraries in Australian colleges, universities and conservatories since the appearance of major reports on the subject in 1970 and the impact of diminishing funding. Fontes Artes Musicae vol 46 no 3-4, Jul-Dec 1999, published by the International Association of Music Libraries


Music libraries online: a virtual union catalogue for music. A paper by Katherine Hogg. Describes a project which has created a virtual union catalogue of holdings in nine conservatories of music in the UK using the Z39.50 protocol to access varying bibliographic and software systems. Fontes Artes Musicae vol 47, no 1,  Jan-Mar 2001: 14-21, published by the International Association of Music Libraries.


Prelude to a Digital Music Library at the Pennsylvania State University: Networking Audio for Academic Library Users by Amanda Maple, Tona Henderson. Library Resources & Technical Services. Vole 44, no 4, 2000: 190-195.


Preservation & conservation


Be prepared: guidelines for small museums for writing a disaster preparedness plan. A Heritage Collections Council Project undertaken by Soderlund Consulting Pty Ltd. Canberra: Heritage Collections Council, 2000  Available from the Australian Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

reCollections: the conservation support and skills manual. A series of publications aimed particularly at the volunteer museum sector. Topics include caring for cultural materials, damage and decay, managing collections, managing people, handling transportation, storage and display. Available from the Australian Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts  


Significance: a guide to assessing the significance of cultural heritage objects and collections. Includes selection criteria, case studies and implementation options. Canberra: Heritage Collections Council, 2001. Available from the Australian Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts.



Press clippings


Press clippings provide a consolidated picture of a company's history - particularly performing arts organisations, whose success is based on critical and popular reaction to its creative endeavours. When the collection is well organised it provides the organisation with convenient access to information on the people, events and works which have shaped its history. The Wolanski Foundation will be developing guidelines on the management of press clippings on the performing arts and undertaking research into the value and impact of technology in managing these resources.


LAURIN Project. Libraries and Archives Collecting Newspaper Clippings Unified for their integration into Networks. The project aims to develop a generic model for the digitisation of newspaper clippings. 


Making the words count: towards an analytical database of theatre reviews
Paper by David Roberts in NTQ: New Theatre Quarterly Vol XV Part 4 (NTQ60): 332-338, published by Cambridge University Press. The article describes the rationale, development functionality and initial results of an electronic database of theatre reviews which permits analysis of the form according to the principle of corpus/linguistics. 





The theatre and concert program: ephemera or vital record? A paper on the history of the program, collections in Australian repositories and technical issues by Paul Bentley. Summary available. Full text due soon.


The show goes on!: preserving performing arts ephemera, or the power of the program. Paper by Richard Stone on the value and characteristics of programs and other ephemera and the efforts of Australian libraries and museums in preserving them and making them accessible. Art Library Journal Vol 25 no 2 (2000):31-35.




Best betrayal: the documentation of performance on video and film, part 1. Article by Annabelle Melzer on the forms and functions of video documentation. NTQ: New Theatre Quarterly, Vol 11, no 42, May 1995:147-157


Best betrayal: the documentation of performance on video and film, part 2. Article by Annabelle Melzer. NTQ: New Theatre Quarterly, Vol 11, no 43, Aug 1995: 259-276


A faithful betrayal of performance: notes on the use of video in theatre. Article by Marco de Marinis on the potential and pitfalls of using videorecordings for theatre studies. NTQ: New Theatre Quarterly Vol 1 no 4, 1985:383-389


From live performance to the digital stage: a 5 step guide to contracting and copyright management or digital recordings for the live performing arts / produced by the Performing Arts Multimedia Library (PAML) Pilot Project. Melbourne: Performing Arts Multimedia Library, 1999.


Theatre and video: national and international perspectives. By Ian Herbert. Theatre Notebook vol 43 no 3, 1989:130-136.


The video documentation of theatrical performance

Paper by Gay McAuley in NTQ: New Theatre Quarterly No 38, May 1994:183-194, urging action by theatre practitioners, funding authorities and university researchers to ensure the preservation of theatre performances through the use of video technology.. 


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