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).
- "Preserving History, One Theater at a Time" (Marianne Combs, MPR News State of the Arts Blog, September 20, 2012)
- "Behind the Scenes: Theater Archives and the Documentation of a Legacy" (Sara Zettervall, UpNext: The IMLS Blog, August 2012)
- "Is There a Curator in the House?" (Camille LeFevre, Continuum issue 10, 2012)
- "Preserving the Ephemeral" (Sara Zettervall, TCG Circle blog, April 2012)
- Penumbra Theatre Company (lead partner)
- American Theatre Archive Project
- Apollo Theater Archive Project
- Children's Theatre Company
- Givens Collection of African American Literature
- Guthrie Theater
- Southern Theater
- Theatre Library Association
- University of Minnesota Department of Theatre Arts and Dance
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.