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ABT News

August 7, 2014

ABT Donates Archives to Library of Congress

American Ballet Theatre Collection: Touring the Globe for 75 Years to be Exhibited at Library of Congress, August 14, 2014-January 24, 2015

The original 1942 cast of Pillar of Fire: Hugh Laing, Nora Kaye, Lucia Chase, Annabelle Lyon and Antony Tudor.

American Ballet Theatre, America’s National Ballet Company®, has announced the donation of its archival holdings, to be known as the American Ballet Theatre Collection, to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.  Announced today by ABT CEO Rachel Moore, the American Ballet Theatre Collection is comprised of more than 50,000 items of visual and written documentation of the Company’s 75-year history.

The acquisition of ABT’s archives by the Music Division of the Library of Congress will enable the Company’s historic documents, photographs, correspondence, recordings and other ephemera to be stabilized and preserved for future viewing and study.  A finding aid of the collection is available to researchers.  Please contact the music division two weeks prior to your visit

In celebrating the acquisition, the Library of Congress will open an exhibit, American Ballet Theatre: Touring the Globe for 75 Years, on August 14, 2014 to be on view through January 24, 2015 in the Performing Arts Reading Room at the Library of Congress’ James Madison Building. The exhibition celebrates American Ballet Theatre’s vibrant 75-year history, with objects drawn primarily from the Library of Congress’ American Ballet Theatre Collection, as well as from its extensive dance and music collections.

“The American Ballet Theatre Collection represents the most comprehensive record to date of ABT’s vast trove of historic materials,” said Moore.  “Much of the collection, including early correspondence, original music scores and rare photographs, stands as a priceless testament to ABT’s rich history.  We are grateful to the Library of Congress for helping to preserve this important material for generations to come.”

“It has been my honor to work with both ABT and the Library of Congress to help bring the archives of America’s National Ballet Company to the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States.” said Victoria Phillips, ABT Board member and one of three curators of the exhibit.  “ABT’s collection will encourage the general public and professional researchers to explore this great institution of American aesthetic history.”

Following its closing in Washington, D.C., the exhibition will travel to the Library of Congress/Ira Gershwin Gallery at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, where it will be on view for six months (March 2015–August 2015).

About the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats.  The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at

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