Preservation of the Charles Weidman Moving Image Archive
We are pleased to announce that the films Flickers, Letter to Mrs. Bixby, and Traditions in the Charles Weidman Moving Image Archive at the New York Library for the Performing Arts have been preserved and digitized for longevity and easier access to the public! Thank you to our donors for making this possible!
The Charles Weidman Dance Foundation announced the start of the first phase of our effort to digitally preserve the Moving Image Archive of Charles Weidman (1901-1975) at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center in 2014. Through our continued efforts and ongoing collaboration with the NYPL, we have had success in digitizing some films and tapes in the collection.
In 2015, the Library was awarded a National Historical Publications & Records Commission grant to preserve their Dance Division U-matic videotapes – the U-matic videotape format and its recording and playback hardware are obsolete, which makes these tapes a high priority for preservation. The project was slated to start October 2015 and conclude September 2017. This means that all the Charles Weidman U-matic videotape titles in the archive will be digitally preserved and made digitally accessible for current and future generations. Among the U-matic videotape titles to be preserved are Mr. Weidman’s A House Divided (1945), Easter Oratorio (1967), Saint Matthew Passion (1973), Christmas Oratorio (1961), Atavisms (Lynchtown and Bargain Counter)(1936), and Visualization, or From a Farm in New Jersey (1974).
Read our press release here.
The Charles Weidman Dance Foundation, Inc. has undertaken a project to raise funds to preserve and digitize the collection of Charles Weidman recorded moving images at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. This archive of over 80 titles ranges in date from ca. 1930 to 1992 and includes iconic and legendary Weidman works such as Traditions, Lynchtown, and Brahms Waltzes. The preservation and digitization of the Weidman archive will allow these titles to be viewed by dance students, teachers, and enthusiasts from around the world through the Jerome Robbins Archive of the Record Moving Image. In addition, our project seeks to preserve the original analog source material in order to protect it from further deterioration that may, over time, make them irreparable and ultimately lost to the dance world. Tanisha Jones from the NYPL is working with the CWDF to determine the overall cost of fully preserving and digitizing the Charles Weidman Moving Image Archive. Through fundraising events, charitable donations, and grant writing, the CWDF’s goal is to raise the funds to preserve and digitize the entire collection, thus making Weidman’s moving image archive accessible to the public and visible for future generations.
Want to support this project? You can make a tax-deductible donation to the Preservation Project by clicking the link below!
On April 18th, 2014, the CWDF hosted a fundraiser at Gibney Dance Center, to raise both money and awareness of their Preservation Project. The event included two performances of Weidman’s Lynchtown performed by Nimbus Dance Works and the trio Branches from the Easter Oratorio performed by three dancers from RedCurrant Collective. On top of the food, donated wine from the Sonoma Valley, amazing silent auction items, and music, the event was an incredibly enjoyable night. Thank you to everyone you made our event a success!
The CWDF would like to thank the following people and companies for their generous donations to the Preservation Project Fundraiser:
Gina Gibney, Gibney Dance Center
Tanisha Jones, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Chase Cambron, North Coast Wineries
Mark Morris Dance Group
The Jose Limon Dance Foundation
Athleta Clothing Store