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Jerome Robbins Collections: Other Materials

A guide to the collections and other materials related to Jerome Robbins.

Finding Resources

In the Library

Numerous materials relating to Robbins are found in other collections not devoted to him, as well as other general dance collections that the division maintains. These can be found by searching in the NYPL Catalog and the NYPL Archives Portal. Collections of note include the American Ballet Theatre records and the Ballets: U.S.A. records, but there are many more.

Additionally, doing a title search in the catalog for the Jerome Robbins Collection will bring up an alphabetical list of predominantly Audio and Moving Image materials donated by him that are available in the division. Other materials found in this title search include dance biographies and autobiographies, books on national dances and dance history, ballet plots, and souvenir programs. 

 

Outside the Library

Outside of the Library for the Performing Arts and the Dance Division there are other useful resources available, not just for archival materials, but also for connections to the community and scholarship based around Jerome Robbins. 

An important source of information on Robbins is of course the Robbins Rights Trust. This organization has been the steward of his legacy and partner with the Dance Division in maintaining his collection and overseeing access to it. They have also been promoters of research about his life and work, awarding grants to researchers studying Robbins, as well as the licensing of his work to performing organizations.

There are also other dance archives that contain work related to Robbins, including the New York City Ballet Archive, holding materials related to Robbins’ choreography, and the American Ballet Theatre Archive at the Library of Congress. Robbins choreographed multiple works for ABT and materials related to that work can be found in the collection. 

Library Resources

Audio and Moving Image

Unfortunately, while there are numerous items available, there is no central list of all audio and moving image materials related to Jerome Robbins. The best option for finding moving image material is to use our advanced catalog search

In the search fields just type whatever terms related to Robbins that you are looking for. Below that in the location field you will select “Performing Arts Research Dance” and then limit the material type to “DVD,” “Film, Slide, etc.,” and “VHS” and you will get all results for the physical moving image items.

Searching for audio materials is the same, except the material type selected will be “Spoken Word.” There are numerous audio recordings with Jerome Robbins and his collaborators through the years. Interviews with Robbins can be found in the subject heading "Robbins, Jerome -- Interviews." These interviews come from various sources and cover a large portion of his life. For a discrete list of the audio materials donated to the Dance Division by the Estate of Jerome Robbins, these can be found by searching for the title Jerome Robbins Collection. Audio materials.

As with the manuscript collections, some of these items are restricted and require permission from the Robbins Rights Trust. To inquire about access just email the Dance Division at dance@nypl.org.

 

Clipping Files

The Dance Division has an extensive collection of clippings on Jerome Robbins, including the Jerome Robbins Scrapbooks which contain clippings and reviews from later in his career. There are also dedicated clippings files that have been microfilmed and are available at the Library for the Performing Arts, as well as the Schomburg Center for research in Black Culture. These clippings cover the years 1940-1979 and are a great resource for that part of his career.

As with the general photo files, there are other clipping files that will contain materials related to Robbins life and work, but that are not solely devoted to him. Once again looking in files for individual works of his or dance companies he worked for is a great place to start.

Photographs

There are many places to find photographs of Robbins or his work outside of his own collections. Most used are the Dance Division's general loose photo files. All photo files have the call numbers *MGZE, *MGZEA, or *MGZEAO (oversized photos). Files here are separated by individual, company, or piece of choreography, and can be found in the catalog by searching for your subject and using the object type “Picture” in the Advanced Search screen. This will bring up any visual piece related to that subject, be it photograph or original art. There are files for Robbins himself, or you can search by a choreographic piece of his (i.e. Fancy Free), or one of the dance companies he worked for (i.e. New York City Ballet). 

Photos of Robbins can also be found in other archival photo collections such as the Carl Van Vechten slides, the Costas Dance Photographs, and the Carolyn George Photographs. Search these collections via the NYPL Archives Portal.

A Constant Collaborator

Jerome Robbins and Mikhail Baryshnikov rehearsing Other Dances. Credit: Martha Swope, 1976.

Robbins, Jerome no. 379, Jerome Robbins Dance Division Photography Files, NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID 57465787.