Dance Heritage Coalition
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Dance Heritage Coalition

Dance Heritage Coalition is the sole national nonprofit whose mission is to document, preserve, and create access to the dance legacy of the United States.

technical information

Technical Information

Finding aids in this database are encoded according to the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) format, either by the contributing institution or DHC contractual staff who assist smaller repositories lacking staff trained in EAD.

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Funding Support

Components of this site have been funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Through support from the Hidden Collections program administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), DHC managed a collaborative project to create finding aids for collections at seven DHC-member repositories.


What are finding aids? Short Answer: descriptive indices.

Finding aids are descriptive indices of archival collections held by repositories such as libraries, museums, archives, and other organization. These collections include unique and original items like letters, dairies, and objects, and each finding aid provides an inventory or contents listing of a collection; the level of description may be as broad as a listing by box or as specific as by folder or item. Finding aids may also provide information on the collection's history and a biography of the collecting entity (e.g., individual artists, companies, scholars, critics, and organizations), as well as a note on the scope and contents of the collection (e.g., an overview of the materials and how they are organized).

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How can a finding aid help my research? Many ways.

A finding aid can help you efficiently locate collections and items relevant to your research interests. The items in archival collections are “primary source materials,” that is, original and unique documents or other items.


How is this database of finding aids different from others? Centralization of information.

DHC provides access through one portal to dance-related collections held by libraries, museums, archives, and dance organizations. Many of these finding aids are available through other websites or in person at their respective institutions. This portal provides the convenience of being able to search all dance-related collections that have been contributed, making it easier and faster for researchers to locate primary sources in their research topic.

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