As recently reported, the Woody Guthrie Archives will be moving to a new purpose built facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to be financed by the George Kaiser Family Foundation.  The new center, a former warehouse, which is currently being renovated, is expected to open in 2013.  New York’s loss is Oklahoma’s gain.


blackcatThe title of this post is to commemorate one of the more interesting items spotted for sale in the Bellevue Community College cafeteria by one of my colleagues last week while we were attending the SAA workshop, Understanding Photos.  It also can serve as a catchall for a bunch of items of interest that have been accumulating.

The image of the menu from a New York city restaurant, Au Chat Noir, was chosen because: a) we needed another cat picture on this blog; and b) wanted something illustrative, but unusual, to grab your attention about yet another historic preservation campaign related to the performing arts.  As has been widely reported, five of the remaining buildings on West 28th Street that once constituted Tin Pan Alley are up for sale (presumably for demolition and redevelopment).  32 West 28th Street isn’t among them, but perhaps some of the songwriters and publishers dined at Au Chat Noir.

Meanwhile, over on the Archives Hub blog, the latest post talks about a recent event held to demonstrate “what archives can show us about holidays and seaside resorts” in Britain and publishes a great image of a pierrot show cast, held by the University of Exeter Library.

Finally (and this is to whet your appetite for the hopefully-not-too-stale series of upcoming posts about SAA 2008 Session 406), NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday featured a segment on Jonatha Brooke’s creative utilization of material in the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives.

Image credit: NYPL Digital Gallery Image ID: 475669

I know I promised some reports on activities at the SAA 2007 Annual Conference in Chicago, but that will have to wait at least one more day. I barely had time to glance at either the copies of the New York Times (and sometimes Chicago Tribune as well) that were deposited daily outside of my hotel room door or at my own copy of the Sunday Times at home, but going through my also-neglected Google Reader this morning, I eyeballed the following items, published over the last several days, which can give us all much to brood about. While Sweden takes decisive measures to preserve the works of Ingmar Bergman, private interests in the United States litigate over an equally vital piece of American dance history (i.e. the New Dance Group). In happier news on the dance front, it appears as if the Dance Notation Bureau has regrouped successfully. See if you agree or not with a notator’s contention that dance is not an ephemeral art. Meanwhile, in a not very provocative think piece, Jason Zinoman quavers inconclusively (in typical Times fashion) over the previously discussed Vanity Fair article’s impact upon Arthur Miller’s reputation. Finally, in Sunday’s Arts & Leisure section, there was a more informative piece on the creative reuse of material in the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives that manages not to mention the work of the archivists themselves at all.