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STAGE BYTE:

AUSTRALIAN PERFORMING ARTS ONLINE 2001

By Paul Bentley

December 2000

 

Part 2 of article originally published in Online Currents January/February 2001 and reprinted with kind permission of the publishers Enterprise Information Management Pty Ltd.  


LIBRARIES, MUSEUMS AND ARCHIVES

Snapshot

Services in the performing arts are provided by federal and state government institutions such as the National Library of Australia, National Archives of Australia and the ScreenSound Australia.

The National Library, with significant manuscript and oral history holdings relating to organisations and individuals like J.C. Williamson Theatres and David Williamson, has taken a strong interest in the performing arts. Apart from developing general online tools such as Kinetica and the Register of Australian Archives of Manuscripts, more direct performing arts initiatives include the provision of minimum level catalogue entries for programs via its website.

Among state libraries, the performing arts collections of the State Library of NSW and the State Library of Victoria are notable. Increasingly, catalogue entries for relevant archival, manuscript and pictorial material in the State Library of NSW are being made accessible via its web-enabled PICMAN catalogue. These include, for example, entries for material transferred from the Dennis Wolanski Library of the Performing Arts. The State Library of South Australia site has catalogue entries for programs and pictorial material. The Library and Information Services of Western Australia has one of the major music collections in the country.

Specialised performing arts collections operated by performing arts centres and authorities exist in all states except New South Wales and Tasmania. They include the Performing Arts Museum at the Victorian Arts Centre, the Performing Arts Collection of South Australia at the Adelaide Festival Centre, Queensland Performing Arts Museum/ Gladys Moncrieff Library of the Performing Arts and Perth Theatre Trust collection. Most have websites, but in general do not currently provide web enabled catalogues.

Collaborative projects with performing arts components, in addition to those already mentioned above, include Pictures Australia, the Australian Libraries Gateway and the Australian Subject Gateway. 

Other sites, services & sources

Australian dance collection: a directory of resources.

Part of the Keep Dancing Project, a joint venture of ScreenSound Australia, National Library of Australia and Ausdance.  With funded from the Australia Council, the project aims to locate, preserve and make accessible film and video examples of the work of some of Australia's leading choreographers and to link moving images with related dance resources in other media, especially extensive dance material held by the National Library of Australia.

Australian Museums Online

Includes a searchable database of records held in Australian museums, including theatre and music programs held by unlikely institutions.

Australian playscripts

Among collections of original playscripts and prompt books are the Eunice Hanger collection at the University of Queensland, the Campbell Howard Collection at the University of New England and the William Anderson collections of Australia playscripts at the State Library of Victoria. A card index of Australian drama, compiled by the Dennis Wolanski Library of the Performing Arts, is held by the University of New South Wales Library.

National Networked Facility for Research in Australian Music

A network of music libraries and other organisations including the Australian National University, Monash University, Australian Music Centre, La Trobe University, National Library of Australia and ScreenSound Australia. Its website provides an annotated guide to music collections, archives, libraries and museums, people, publications and resources such as ephemera, film and moving images, manuscripts, newspapers, oral history, pictures, printed material, sound recordings and unpublished material

New York Public Library of the Performing Arts

Its web catalogue is one of the best online sources for journal citations on Australian dance.

The Wolanski Foundation

Established in 1998, following the closure of the Dennis Wolanski Library of the Performing Arts at the Sydney Opera House, to facilitate management, production and appreciation of the performing arts. Research, publishing and industry support services. Its website includes papers on information management and history, bibliographies and links.

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