Yuan Shih-kai is flanked by 2 soldiers with guns and 4 other men

Well, if we have received ours in the mail, it seems pretty likely that by now most everyone will have gotten their hands on the preliminary program for the 2008 Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting. Of course, you also can read it online, but its annual arrival in our mailboxes serves as a handy reminder to all who are planning to attend to register, or, certainly, to at least secure a hotel room at the conference rate as soon as possible.

Happily, this year’s conference will offer quite a few sessions of interest to performing arts archivists, including one sponsored by the SAA Performing Arts Roundtable, “Getting to the Heart of Performance: Archivists as Creative Collaborators” (406) on Friday, 29 August, as well as the PAR meeting itself, which will help kick things off on Wednesday, 27 August (we hope many of you will be in town that early). More about those events and other programs of interest to come soon (maybe we can even get some of the participants to contribute a few blog posts).

Disappointingly, the preliminary program itself gives surprisingly short shrift to San Francisco’s fabulous performing arts history (and those individuals, institutions and organizations that have helped to preserve and provide access to it). We hope to rectify that situation a little bit, by occasionally bringing to you some images of material from these collections. The original photograph above (of a 1920s stage production) is from the Collection of Chinese Theater Images in California, held by the Museum of Performance & Design (formerly SF PALM).

Image credit: A bomb throwing revolutionary confronts warlord Yuan Shih-kai, staged at the Great Star Theatre / [ID# ark:/13030/kt0g5014tw; Digital Archive of Chinese Theater in California, Online Archive of California]