789 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 2G8


Telephone: Answerline (416) 393-7131

Web site / online access: http://www.tpl.toronto.on.ca


Description / mandate:
The Toronto Reference Library presents its theatre and performing arts holdings as among the largest and most comprehensive in Canada, and dance has a significant place in this context. There are two major areas within the Toronto Reference Library where dance materials are found. First, the main library catalogue provides access to descriptions of books, videotapes and some film under dance subject headings. Second, the Performing Arts Centre is a special collections area with extensive dance holdings that include not only published materials, but also archival, visual and ephemeral material. The video and film collection largely supports dance educators, and represents a very diverse range of dance types and contexts. The collecting focus for published materials tries to be comprehensive in Canadian dance, and selective in non-Canadian. As well as theatrical dance, subject areas include folk, Aboriginal, international (including multilingual, especially French and Chinese), religious, ballroom, country and others.


Collection / extent:
Dance is one of the largest subjects represented in the Library’s video collection with over 1000 video items (in a total of approximately14,000). The Library holds over 7000 books catalogued under various dance subject headings, as well as some periodicals.

The Performing Arts Centre provides access to clipping files on Canadian personalities and organizations (however, active clipping ceased in 2001); visual material such as photographs, sketches, posters and stage designs; music recordings as well as an extensive collection of ballet and dance scores; plus archival material including the collections of Boris Volkoff, Bettina Byers and Alex Pereima. The Library is actively collecting playbills, brochures, press releases, biographies and other publicity material.


Access / other information:
The videotapes, books and some selected scores are circulating collections available for loan by patrons, as well as for inter-library loan. Archival material, visual material and ephemera are available for consultation on-site only. The web site provides an introduction to the performing arts collections, as well as online access to the library’s catalogue; however, the catalogue does not include much of the archival and ephemeral material.








4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3J 1P3


For Archives and Special Collections: 305 Scott Library
Telephone: (416) 736-5442 Fax: (416) 650-8039

E-mail: sdubeau@yorku.ca
Web site:
Contact: Suzanne Dubeau (University Archivist)
Web site for Library online catalogue:

For Sound & Moving Image Library: 125 Scott Library
Telephone: (416) 736-5508

Rob van der Bliek, Music Librarian: 
Kathryn Elder, Media Librarian: 

Web site:http://www.library.yorku.ca/cms/smil/


Description / mandate:
York University Libraries provide access to dance materials through the main Library catalogue, as well as through the Archives and Special Collections and the Sound & Moving Image Library. These significant dance holdings support the academic programme in dance at York. (The programme has been running since 1970.) The Library also employs a fine arts bibliographer. In addition to specific dance materials, the archival collections are strong in areas related to dance including fine arts, performing arts and Canadian culture.


Collection / extent:
The archival collections in dance include the Danny Grossman Dance Company, Paul James Dwyer, Toronto Dance Theatre, Gladys Forrester, Kennetha McArthur, Lauretta Thistle, Canada Dance Festival and many others. The Library’s print collection holds approximately 4000 books, over 100 periodical titles representing dance in Canada and internationally, as well as electronic resources. The print collection includes many rare works, including "how-to" manuals on topics from belly dancing (3 titles) to tap dancing (25 titles). In addition, souvenir programmes from around the world are represented in the collection, including Pavlova's North American debut in 1910 and companies from the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo to the National Ballet of Canada. The Sound & Moving Image Library has over 400 videos on dance, with strengths in Canadian, American and instructional subjects.


Access / other information:
Library loan privileges are for York University staff and students. Consultation access to most archival holdings (except some restricted personnel and other sensitive material) is available on-site. The web site provides online access to the Library catalogue and to descriptions of archival collections; a Guide to Archival Resources, including Finding Aids listing the archival dance fonds/collections; virtual exhibitions showing selected dance documents; and Subject Guides to films and videos that include dance categories.