Performing Arts

A collection of the Art, Music & Recreation Center This collection includes biographical, historical, critical and technical works and in-depth resources such as collected sets of reviews, criticism and subject encyclopedias. In an effort to document the vibrant performing arts community of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Library collects programs, reviews, articles and ephemera related to local performances from the 1850s to the present (see the Bay Area Musicians and Performing Artists Index for specific performers). Also collected are posters announcing local performances from the 1960s to the present. (Dance, theater and music performances and instruction on CD and on video in DVD and VHS formats are included in the description of the Audiovisual Center.) Users of the collection include general readers, students, researchers and professionals. Most of the collection is weeded based on significance of title, changing use and maintaining existing collection strengths.

Dance: General works, including history, commentary, biography and instruction

  • Ballet: biography; encyclopedias; history; instruction
  • Careers: auditions; career transitions; choreography; college dance programs; instruction
  • Jazz Dance and Musical Theater: biography; instruction; photo essays; production journals
  • Modern Dance: biography; historical works; instruction; styles; company histories; photo essays
  • Social Dance: all styles; instruction guides
  • World Dance: clogging and line dance; festival posters and programs; folkloric dance; U.S. folk and square dance

Film and Filmmaking: Works about domestic and international feature, documentary and instructional films; producing and financing videos and motion pictures; directing; screenplays; film criticism; popular histories and encyclopedic works.

Music: Scores, recordings and literature of all times and places for musicians at all levels; popular titles of recordings representing a wide range of styles and genres; music literature from basic music appreciation to reference books; archival collections pertaining to San Francisco musical life; rare works and complete works sets.

  • Dorothy Starr Collection: scores and sheet music from the 18th through the 20th century established from the stock of Dorothy Starr's store, The Music Stand
  • Music Business: up-to-date information to help musicians pursue music professionally
  • Music Instruction: scores, literature and audio-visual material to assist patrons wishing to learn the rudiments of music, music theory, electronic and computer music as well as instruction in vocal and instrumental music
  • Musical Theater: general history and criticism; staging; scores; librettos and recordings

Outdoor Amusements: Works on the circus, rodeo and bullfighting.

Radio and Television: General histories, specific program histories and scripts.

Theatrical Production and Performance: Dramatic works, Butoh, mime, improvisation, comedy, pantomime and performance art; repertory and regional theater; commentary and reviews; pictorial works; costume design, stage design, props, sets and makeup; theatrical training, education and careers; scrapbooks, performance programs, playbills and posters.

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