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Guide to Tap Dance Research: About

A guide to tap dance holdings at the Library for the Performing Arts.

Researching

Born out of the fusion of West African juba and ringshout dances with European step, jig and reel dances, tap dance is a product of the cultural amalgamation that characterized the early history of the United States of America. From its origin among enslaved Africans, to the silver screen and Broadway, tap continues to hold an important place the American identity and in the dance research community.  

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division houses numerous resources documenting the history of tap dance. This guide is an effort to bring together all of these materials and help researchers in discovering what they need to access. In this guide you will find a lists of manuscript collections, interviews, performances, books, and photographs in our collection, but also tips on how to find these items. Included is a collection of resources that are accessible while working remotely, consisting of useful items like e-books, digitized interviews, and databases.

Dance Reference Librarian

Erik Stolarski's picture
Erik Stolarski
Contact:
(212) 870-1778

Tapping into Knowledge!

Color Photograph of tap dancer Bill Robinson in a grey suit and hat with a pink curtain as the background.

Studio photo of renowned tap dancer Bill Robinson.

Bill Robinson, 1941. Photo by Carl Van Vechten, *MGZKA 14-6754, Carl Van Vechten Slides, Courtesy of NYPL Digital Collections. Image ID: 57487516

Color Photograph of tap dancer Bill Robinson in  a suit and hat with a [pink curtain as the background.

Studio photo of renowned tap dancer Bill Robinson.

Bill Robinson, 1941. Photo by Carl Van Vechten, *MGZKA 14-6754, Carl Van Vechten Slides, Courtesy of NYPL Digital Collections. Image ID: 57487518

Color Photograph of tap dancer Bill Robinson in  a suit and hat with a [pink curtain as the background.

Studio photo of renowned tap dancer Bill Robinson.

Bill Robinson, 1941. Photo by Carl Van Vechten, *MGZKA 14-6754, Carl Van Vechten Slides, Courtesy of NYPL Digital Collections. Image ID: 57487519