Preserving the Ephemeral: An Archival Program for Theater and the Performing Arts

The University of Minnesota Libraries Performing Arts Archives, in cooperation with Penumbra Theatre Company, is working to create a method of documenting all aspects of theater productions so the resulting materials are preserved for future generations. In this twelve-month planning project, our team of librarians and theater professionals will assess the needs of the theater community—theaters of color in particular—to create and test an archiving plan that is scalable so it can be implemented in theaters of all sizes. Our goal is to better understand how theater professionals do their work, and how we can help preserve the evidence of their work without impeding it or placing an undue burden on theater companies. Ultimately, we want to answer the question: What system can we put in place that will help theaters of all sizes, and theaters of color in particular, to document and archive materials from their productions so they are available for research by future generations of students, scholars, and artists?

For more information, download the grant narrative (PDF).

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This project is supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations in this website do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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Contact Us

Cecily Marcus
Principal Investigator
marc0082@umn.edu
Phone: 612-624-8812

Sara Zettervall
Project Manager
sarazet@umn.edu

Performing Arts Archives
Elmer L. Andersen Library Suite 213
222-21st Ave. S.
Minneapolis MN 55455
Fax: 612-625-5525