The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia University in New York City has acquired the extensive archives of Arthur Mitchell, the accomplished ballet dancer, choreographer, and the founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
The collection contains photographs, posters, programs, clippings, correspondence, early film footage and video content. Included in the collection are the administrative papers, grant proposals, financial records, teaching materials, and other documents from the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Also included in the archive are some of Mitchell’s personal papers and correspondence.
“I believe that dance, and the arts more broadly, can be used as a catalyst for social change—this is why I started the Dance Theatre of Harlem,” said Mitchell. “With these materials now at Columbia, artifacts of American dance history and African-American history will be accessible to young scholars, academics and the general public, furthering this push for change.”
After processing and cataloging has been completed, the archive is expected to be available to the public in 2017.
Below is a video showing Arthur Mitchell discussing his decision to donate his archive to Columbia University.