Skip to main content

Dance Department

Identifier: BC13-14

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The Dance Department records includes both the administrative records of the Dance Department and documentation of the Dance Uptown dance series. Departmental records include correspondence; minutes from meetings of the faculty; performance programs and newsletters for student concerts, showcases, the Dance Theater Workshop, Orchesis, and Spring and Winter Festivals; course outlines; master-class information, Janet Soares' teaching materials; departmental policies; digital images of Dance department events, and moving images of performances.

Also included is a collection of American and international folk dance steps with lyrics, written on index cards. Dance Uptown records include programs; reviews; creative manifestos; annual reports; publicity; budget and grant materials; photographs; and performance posters. In 2012, programs once collated with a VHS media collection were separated and added to this collection. Born digital images transferred off disks include photgraphy from Dance Department events and performances.


  • Creation: 1945 - 2014



Some items in boxes 6, 7, 10, and 19 are restricted as they pertain to private student, faculty, and staff information.

Publication Rights

Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Barnard Archives and Special Collections. The Barnard Archives and Special Collections approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Reproductions Restrictions

Photocopies or scans may be made for research purposes.

Historical Background

In 1898, before the establishment of the Athletics Association in 1901 or the Physical Education Department in 1904, a dancing class was started by members of the Barnard community. Dance was integrated into the Greek Games when they started in 1903 as part of the competition, with students choreographing and participating in their own pieces. When the Physical Education Department was established, dance was included among its many athletic activities. In 1967, Kenneth James, Director of the Minor Latham Playhouse, asked Janet Soares to create performance opportunities at Barnard for the experimental dancers and musicians concentrated around Judson Church and Dance Theatre Workshop in lower Manhattan. The first Dance Uptown was presented that fall. The final concert was held in 1985. Over 90 choreographers had works presented through this series, which attained international attention and historical significance. In 1972, the Program in the Arts was established and Barnard students were able to major in dance as a concentration within the department. Students worked with choreographers invited to Barnard and presented their own works. With the termination of Program in the Arts in 1988, Dance was recognized as a major.


9.06 Linear Feet (22 document boxes; 3 flat files containing 32 oversized folders)

80 Gigabytes (23 digital video recordings and 93 images (.jpg))




This collection consists of records from the Barnard College Dance Department. Materials documenting the Dance Department include minutes of faculty meetings, budgets and annual reports, course outlines, plans, policies, performance programs, and moving images of performances. Materials related to the founding, development, and performances of Dance Uptown include - but are not limited to - programs, flyers, posters, creative statements, budget materials, grant materials, correspondence, and meeting minutes.

Collection Arrangement

The records are arranged in two series, each further arranged into subseries. The paper materials are arranged in original order. The transferred computer disks in subseries 1.6, as part of the processing work done by Archives staff, were intellectually rearranged within this finding aid under "Digital photographs." Additionally, some high-level physical rearrangement happened to allow the digital materials to be easily integrated into a single system of arrangement. The digital photographs, at the highest directory level, were placed into a new folder with a new file name.

The series and subseries arrangement of the records is as follows:

Series 1, Dance Department Records, 1945-2014
Subseries 1.1, Administrative Records, 1945-1997
Subseries 1.2, Janet Soars' Teaching Records, 1970s-1980s
Subseries 1.3, Performance Programs, Flyers, and Newsletters, 1970-2005
Subseries 1.4, Performance Moving Images, 2011-2014
Subseries 1.5, Performance Posters, 1983-2002
Subseries 1.6, Digital photographs, 2006-2010

Series 2, Dance Uptown Records, 1967-1991
Subseries 2.1, Administrative Records, 1967-1993
Subseries 2.2, Performance Programs, Press Releases, and Reviews, 1967-1989
Subseries 2.3, Photographs, 1967-1972
Subseries 2.4, Performance Posters, 1967-1991

Physical Location

This collection is located in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections, Barnard Library. To use this collection, please contact the Barnard Archives and Special Collections at 212.854.4079 or

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Dance Department, former Media Services Department, Office of Communications records, and IMATS.


Accruals are expected.

Related Collections

Additional photographs of Dance Department performances are in BC17 Photographs collection found here:

Additional videos of Dance Department performances are in BC18 Moving Images collection found here:

Processing History

Finding aid written by Johana Godfrey BC ’13 in August 2011. Accruals to the collection described by Jacqueline Rider, 2012. Finding aid updated by Shannon O'Neill in 2015 and Olivia Newsome in 2023.

Guide to Dance Department and Dance Uptown Records
Shannon O'Neill
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2019: Updated the extent
  • 2023: updated extent

Repository Details

Part of the Barnard Archives and Special Collections Repository

3009 Broadway
New York NY 10027 United States