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Series: Arthur Mitchell, 1800s-2018
Series: Dance Theatre of Harlem Records, 1967-2019
Series: Recordings, 1953-2018
At a Glance
Arthur Mitchell (1934-2018) was an American ballet dancer, choreographer, and founder and director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem. This collection contains materials related to his career as a dancer with the New York City Ballet, and his later professional work with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and others. The collection includes administrative records, appointment books, correspondence, invitations, notes, notebooks, photographs, programs, and audio and video recordings.
The records in the collection are primarily arranged into two series: Arthur Mitchell and Dance Theatre of Harlem. In general, while there is some overlap, records in the Dance Theatre of Harlem series relate directly to Mitchell's administrative and artistic work with that organization. The Arthur Mitchell series contains materials that are both personal and professional, such as address books, appointment books, correspondence, telephone messages, notebooks, and photographs. The series also contains materials related to Mitchell's professional career as a dancer with the New York City Ballet, as well as his appearances, awards, and other professional work. The series also contains articles, programs, and other printed materials on dance and other subjects of interest to Mitchell.
The Dance Theatre of Harlem records contain extensive documentation of Mitchell's administrative work with the organization from its early years to the early 2000s. These files contain information on many of the activities of the organization including education programs, fundraising, residencies, outreach, partnerships, performances, public relations, strategic planning, and tours. After the early 2000s, as Mitchell's administrative work became less over time, there are less extensive records. The records of the dance company itself are not included in this collection, as the company still holds its own records. However, there are some administrative records related to the company's activities in the collection, as well as brochures, photographs, programs, and video recordings.
The collection includes both audio and video recordings related to Arthur Mitchell and the Dance Theatre of Harlem, as well as other dance-related recordings. These include events, interviews, music, performances, and samples of work sent to Mitchell by other choreographers.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Conditions Governing Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
Unique time-based media items have been reformatted and are available onsite via links in the container list. Commercial materials are not routinely digitized. Email email@example.com for more information.
Material currently listed in this finding aid is processed and available for use in the reading room with the exceptions noted above. Awards, books, oversized posters and oversized photographs, and three-dimensional objects remain un-processed and these materials are not available for research use at this time.
The following boxes are located off-site: 133-142. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least five business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Arthur Mitchell Collection; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Frank Bara Collection. Columbia University Libraries.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
This collection was processed by Catherine C. Ricciardi, Gillian Lipton, Rebecca Barabas (Barnard College 2019), Aeneas Sagar Hemphill (School of the Arts, 2017), and Seowon (Angela) Lee (Columbia College, 2023), 2015-2022. Finding aid written by Catherine C. Ricciardi in 2019.
2020-09-04 Added first batch of AMI AV links. kws
2021-03-15 Added second batch of AMI AV links. kws
2021-09-23 Added third batch of AMI AV links. CCR.
2021-11-23 Added fourth batch of AMI AV links. CCR.
2022-04-05 Added a small amount of newly processed materials: primarily awards and honorary degree certificates. These materials are in Boxes 127-132. CCR.
2022-04-11 Added Personal Financial Files to the container list. These materials are in Boxes 133-142. CCR.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Ballet dancer, choreographer, and director who was the first African American to become a principal dancer with a major ballet company, New York City Ballet. He later founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem (1969).