The New York Public Library Digitizes Over a Thousand Hours of Dance Videos from the Jerome Robbins Archive of the Recorded Moving Image

The New York Public Library announced today that over a thousand videos and recordings from the Jerome Robbins Dance Division’s Archive of the Recorded Moving Image have been digitized and are now managed through NYPL’s Digital Collections at This web portal serves as a new delivery system for the Library’s digitized dance videos, and dramatically expands and enhances public access to these materials. Funded by a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, NYPL created a video interface for the Digital Collections that addresses the specific needs of the dance research community and features an innovative juxtaposition tool that allows users to compare multiple videos side-by-side.

“Digitizing these videos provides the public with unique and varied opportunities to utilize the Dance Division’s rich holdings, and serves as an important step forward in The Library for the Performing Arts’ efforts to enhance NYPL’s Digital Collections,” said Jacqueline Z. Davis, Barbara G. and Lawrence A. Fleishman Executive Director of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. “With a  team of curators, designers, technicians, and other NYPL staff, we collaborated to solve the challenges involved in modernizing such materials. Dance scholars, creative professionals, students and others now have greater ability to interact with and learn from the videos in our collections.”

The Jerome Robbins Archive of the Recorded Moving Image contains over 24,000 dance films and tapes, and the selection of its holdings now available through the new online portal includes items that span the history of the genre, from the earliest films of the late nineteenth century — such as Thomas Edison’s hand-colored 1897 film Annabella — to the latest HD recordings of modern artists and contemporary productions. Additional videos will be shared online as they become available.

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