NIDA Scales Back Archive Project
NIDA has scaled back plans
for development of the NIDA/SBW Archive.
The national theatre training
school launched a campaign in 2005 to raise $3 million to develop the archive
under the patronage of Cate Blanchett as a complementary service to its Rodney
Seaborn Library. In developing plans, it formed partnerships with other
organisations, including the Seaborn Broughton and Walford (SBW) Foundation
and the Wolanski Foundation.
The SBW Foundation performing
arts collection was relocated to a NIDA annexe at Alexandria,
refurbished to accommodate archival material, costume collections and props.
The Wolanski Foundation
provided funds to facilitate work on initial plans, with a particular focus on
reviewing, organising and providing advice on the following material
transferred from the Dennis Wolanski Library.
Archival and manuscript collections
About 200 collections of
archival and manuscript material. These include a rare playbill of a 1795
performance of Wonder and Lodoiska at the Theatre Royal, Drury
Lane, 1795, featuring Mr Kemble and Mr Barrymore. The Wolanski Foundation
assisted in identifying collections, checking provenance details and adding
entries to the Dennis Wolanski Library of the Performing Arts catalogue. To
facilitate access to this material, we will continue to update our pages on
the Wolanski Foundation website.
A major collection of about 3
million press clippings and ephemera covering the period 1843-1996, organised
in two parts. Part 1 is chronological run from 1843 to approximately 1973,
with clippings from The Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald
and other sources. Part 2 is an alphabetical run, mainly from the period
1970-1995, but with quite a number of items from earlier periods. Part 2
includes information on personalities, companies, venues and topics on the
performing arts in general and the Sydney Opera House.
Efforts in the past two years
focussed on integrating unprocessed and partly processed clippings with the
main collection and transferring clippings from 60 filing cabinets to more
than 1000 archive boxes.
A program collection
consisting of about 80,000 items, representing performances at the Sydney
Opera House and the performing arts in Australia, mainly in the 20th century.
Books, serials and articles
About 80 boxes of books and
serials, including major reference works on theatre, drama and other aspects
of the performing arts.
Performing arts indexes
A general card index of
80,000 entries with cross-references to all plays, operas and dance
productions performed at the Sydney Opera House and other venues in Australia,
1973-1996, select entries for productions from previous eras and overseas
productions, and comprehensive entries for the British theatre review
periodical Play Bulletin and the Australian periodical Theatre
A separate index of
Australian plays with 5400 entries on performances, availability of published
editions, and location of manuscript playscripts.
NIDA has announced that it
will be focussing future efforts on record-keeping and archival activities
that reflect the work of NIDA as a training organisation.
The SBW Foundation will be
moving its performing arts collection to a new premise in Rosebery. Web
The Wolanski Foundation is
currently discussing support for information management programs with a number
of organisations and has embarked on a research project on documenting the
performing arts in Australian libraries, archives and museums.