I did make it to that meeting.

Sorry that announcements and updates have been almost as frequently postponed as the opening of Spider-Man, but we hope to have more regular posts resume around Thanksgiving.



George Babier, 'Scheherazade', depicting Ida Rubinstein as Zobiede and Vaslav Nijinsky as the Golden Slave, 1913. Museum no. S.15-2001.

George Babier, 'Scheherazade', depicting Ida Rubinstein as Zobiede and Vaslav Nijinsky as the Golden Slave, 1913. Museum no. S.15-2001.

This fell off my radar, but a timely story in today’s Guardian serves as a welcome reminder that the new Theatre & Performance galleries at the Victoria & Albert Museum open to the public tomorrow.  The Independent also ran a preview of the new space last week.  Click here for more pictures.

These galleries, of course, display the collections of the former Theatre Museum, which closed amid much controversy in late 2007.  It sounds as if there is a decided emphasis on popular music memorabilia in this opening display (or maybe that is what these reporters chose to emphasize).  We will endeavor to bring you a firsthand report as soon as possible.

Image credit: Victoria & Albert Museum

While it would be nice to say that this blog went silent again because we were all too occupied with Archives Months events, I cannot tell a lie.  Look for the long deferred posts about Performing Arts Roundtable programs at SAA Annual 2008 in the coming days.  In the meantime:

Going through the mail, one item of interest recently received is the latest volume in the Theatre Library Association‘s occasional Performing Arts Resources series.  Entitled Performance Reclamation: Research, Discovery, and Interpretation, this book (well, it’s a serial really) should be of special interest to performing arts archivists everywhere.  It provides a transcript of the complete program of TLA’s 2007 symposium of the same name.  The main purpose of that symposium had been to examine the “critical role in recreating performance and supporting the construction of production histories” played by performing arts archives and libraries.  Participants included representatives from City Center Encores!, Jacob’s Pillow, and the Mint Theater.  Rounding out the contents are papers from the 2005 TLA Plenary for the American Society for Theatre Research by Jonathan Bank, Claudia Wilsch Case, and Sarah Ziebell.

Which reminds me — did I renew my membership?

Sorry for not warning you about my vacation ahead of time.  Regular posts, as well as the interrupted series of SAA conference reports, will resume shortly.  With the Fall arts season off and running, there have been many, many items in the news worth noting and thinking about over the past few weeks.  Perhaps one of the most interesting has been the hubbub, reported in the New York Times and elsewhere, over the Friedman-Abeles photograph collection in the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts from whence this image, a studio publicity portrait of Ray Walston and Gwen Verdon in Damn Yankees, comes.

I’ll leave you to think about it until the next post.

Image credit: Friedman-Abeles publicity photograph for Damn Yankees.  NYPL Digital Gallery ID # 1606701

As mentioned in the previous post, the SAA Performing Arts Roundtable held its election at the last business meeting in San Francisco.  New officers are: Peggy Alexander, UCLA, as incoming co-chair and Lisa Hooper, Western Washington University, as new steering committee member. Also appointed to become the assistant newsletter editor is Mary Gallant from the California Western School of Law, shifting the balance of power decidedly to the west.  You can find the contact information for Roundtable leadership here, so get busy contacting them with your ideas for projects, conference session proposals, and the newsletter!

Congratulations to the winners and many thanks to all of those members who volunteered to serve!  It was gratifying to see a full slate of candidates for the one-year steering committee position, but I would encourage others to consider running for one of the two-year positions next year.  Speaking from experience, it may not be so onerous an obligation as you may imagine.

The last notes have sounded and the 2008 Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting in San Francisco officially came to its conclusion. Rest assured that the Performing Arts Roundtable played its part. Presentations were presented, candidates elected, and other business duly conducted. Watch this space in the coming days (weeks?) for all the news as soon as I get my notes, etc. together.

Image credit: The city of San Francisco, California seen from the first street ramp of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge. Nitrate negative of photograph by Dorothea Lange, April 1939. Library of Congress P&P Online Catalog Digital ID (intermediary roll film) fsa 8b33314

Please don’t worry if you don’t hear anything out of us for a little bit. We’re packing up and heading on out to the RBMS Preconference in sure-to-be-sunny Los Angeles and then on to Anaheim for the grandeur that is the ALA Annual Conference. Don’t expect any live blogging, but we’ll be sure to fill you in on any sessions, programs or other tidbits that may be of interest to performing arts archives and archivists at some point soon.

Maybe someone will even pick up the slack.

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