Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Arthur Mitchell Collection, 1800s-2019, bulk 1934-2019

Summary Information

Abstract

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.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1739
Bib ID 11583096 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Mitchell, Arthur, 1934-
Title Arthur Mitchell Collection, 1800s-2019, bulk 1934-2019
Physical Description 96 linear feet (122 boxes - 47 record cartons, 62 document boxes, 5 flat boxes, 3 audio boxes, 5 card files)
Language(s) English .
Access

All original copies of audio / moving image media are closed until reformatting takes place during 2019-2020.

Some 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 rbml@columbia.edu 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 unprocessed and these materials are not available for research use at this time.

This collection is located on-site.

Arrangement

Description

Summary

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.

  • Series: Arthur Mitchell

    This series contains records related to Mitchell's personal and professional activities. Materials directly related to his administrative and artistic work with the Dance Theatre of Harlem are filed with the Dance Theatre of Harlem records, although there is necessarily some overlap.

    This series includes address books, appointment books, biographical information, clippings, correspondence, invitations, telephone message books, notes, notebooks, photographs, and programs. These primarily document Mitchell's career as a dancer with the New York City Ballet, as well as his later professional activities. Personal material includes correspondence, photographs, printed materials, and personal documents such as passports.

    All audio and video recordings are in Series: Recordings.

  • Series: Dance Theatre of Harlem Records

    This series contains records related to Mitchell's administration of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, as well as other related materials such as brochures, clippings, fliers, memorabilia, photographs, and programs.

    All audio and video recordings are in Series: Recordings.

  • Series: Recordings

    This series contains audio and video recordings related to Arthur Mitchell, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, as well as other dance-related recordings. This series includes recordings on audiocassettes, microcassettes, film, videotapes, and CDs and DVDs.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

All original copies of audio / moving image media are closed until reformatting takes place during 2019-2020.

Some 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 rbml@columbia.edu 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 unprocessed and these materials are not available for research use at this time.

This collection is located on-site.

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.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Arthur Mitchell Collection; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Collection-level record describing unprocessed material made public in summer 2018 as part of the Hidden Collections initiative.

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), 2015-2019. Finding aid written by Catherine C. Ricciardi in 2019.

Revision Description

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Personal papers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographs. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sound recordings Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Video recordings (physical artifacts) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Ballet dancing Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dance Theatre of Harlem Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dancers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mitchell, Arthur, 1934- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
New York City Ballet Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

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).