The Society of Folk Dance Historians


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Our Collections

The two permanent SFDH staff members hold Ph.Ds and certificates of specialization in archives and preservation from the School of Information of The University of Texas at Austin. They maintain an archive of sound recordings, publications, artifacts, and the papers of organizations and individuals involved with RIFD. The constantly increasing SFDH archives consist of tens of thousands of books and periodicals, 280 archival document cases containing approximately 280,000 unbound documents including dance descriptions, photographs, photographic negatives, and slides, 400 video tapes, 30 reels of cellulose acetate or polyester-based moving image films, several dozen artifacts such as musical instruments and costumes, and the sound recordings. All of these materials were produced between approximately 1880 and the present, with the majority being produced between 1940 and 1970, during the American revival of interest in the ethnic dancing of American immigrants and pioneers.

The employees of the SFDH use information from this collection to assist scholars and dancers around the world. The SFDH itself has sponsored and published since 1987 annual collections of research reports drawn in large part from the information stored in the SFDH Archive. The SFDH distributes its publications to approximately 500 member individuals and institutions each year. SFDH employees conduct educational and recreational seminars locally, nationwide, and abroad, drawing on information and recordings in the SFDH Archive.

The SFDH always is interested in expanding its collection. If you have material related to Recreational International Folk Dancing that you would like to donate, or should you wish to contribute information to this site, please contact us through our website.