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African American Theater: Other Resources

Guide contains resources about African-American theater. Guide by A J Muhammad.

On this page you can find info about archival collection holdings at other research libraries and institutions, Black theater-related resources for scholars, theater makers and more.

Non-NYPL Library and Archival Resources

American Theatre Archive Project (ATAP) provides resources to assist living theater companies in managing their current and archival records. One of the resources offered by ATAP is a free manual "Preserving Theatrical Legacy: An Archiving Manual for Theatre Companies" which provides basic information for theater companies that are interested in establishing and maintaining their archives.

ArchiveGrid is a database that contains over five million records describing archival materials from than 1,000 different libraries and archival institutions. 

National Theatre Black Plays Archive is an online catalog for the first professional production of every African, Caribbean and Black British play produced in Britain. Researchers can use the database to also read essays, watch or listen to interviews with theater artists and hear extracts from selected plays recorded especially for the Black Plays Archive.

Umbra Search, which was developed in a collaboration between Minnesota-based cultural heritage organizations and the Penunbra Theatre Company, is a search tool which contains hundreds of thousands of digitized materials about African-American history and culture that comes from libraries, archives, and special collections nationally. Find digitized archival material including photographs, correspondences, audiovisual items and other resources in Umbra Search.

WorldCat is a database that allows for searching collections and materials at public and research libraries and archives across the United States, and globally. 

Resources for Theater Artists and Scholars

AUDELCO (Audience Development Committee Co.) is a New York City-based non-profit organization that supports and honors Black Theater productions and Black theater makers in the New York City area. AUDELCO hosts an annual awards events, The AUDELCOS, each fall in which Black theatrical productions -- ranging from indie, Off-Broadway and Broadway -- are awarded a "Viv Award." The award is named after the organization's late founder, Vivian Robinson. The annual award ceremony is open to the general public.

Black Theatre Commons' (BTC) mission is to activate the collective resources of Black theater makers to amplify, nurture, and support the work of the work of Black theaters and practitioners through advocacy, convening, and knowledge-sharing. One of the components of the BTC is the National Archive Initiative (NAI), which was established to document and tell the story of Black theaters and Black theater practitioners. The objectives of the NAI include illuminating best archival practices and demystifying and providing information to the Black theater community about archival processes. 

The Black Theatre Network is a non-profit organization in service of preserving and exploring theatrical visions of the African diaspora. BTN publishes a peer reviewed journal Continuum (and now Black Theatre Review), hosts an annual convening and offers other opportunities for educators, artists, and theater fans.

TCG is a national non-profit organization in support of the American theater and provides resources for both theaters and individuals including opportunities for training, communications, research and networking. TCG publishes play scripts, and other theater related publications. 

Alfre Woodard in "A Winter's Tale"

Alfre Woodard in A Winter's Tale.  Photo by Martha Swope. The Billy Rose Theatre Division at the Library For the Performing Arts.

Carl Lumbly and Geoffrey Owens in "A Midsummer's Night Dream"

Carl Lumbly and Geoffrey Owens in A Midsummer's Night Dream. Photo by Martha Swope. The Billy Rose Theatre Division at the Library For the Performing Arts.