Archiving Services

Dance/USA provides archiving consultations and services for dance artists, companies, and organizations. 

A trained and experienced archivist can help with creating an archive assessment or inventory, consult on digitization projects or other initiatives, or simply answer questions and offer advice over the phone. Dance/USA members receive discounts on archiving services.

If you have questions or would like to schedule a call to discuss these services, contact the Archiving Specialist.

Archiving Services for Artists and Dance Companies

Services Available

Phone Consultation

Do you have questions? Wondering how to get started? You can book a one-hour call with Dance/USA’s Archiving Specialist. Dance/USA can offer guidance, resources, and feedback on your archiving projects, questions, and ideas. Topics can include getting started with an inventory, donating to a repository, searching for funding, managing digital assets, and more. Email to schedule.

Dance/USA members: FREE

Non-members: $40

Archiving Services for Artists and Dance Companies

Personalized Archival Consultancy

Dance/USA can offer various consulting services personalized to your needs, including:

  • Archive Assessments
  • Archive Inventory
  • Digitization Support
  • Webinars/Trainings
Archive Assessment

WHY should you get an archive assessment? An assessment is a vital first step in getting a clear picture of what you have, where it is, how it is organized, and what your priorities should be for addressing the most urgent needs. A professional archivist will produce a report summarizing the scope, condition, and needs of your collection and making clear, prioritized recommendations for action steps. This report lays the groundwork for establishing a sustainable plan for your records, and can also be used in applications for funding to support work on the collection.


WHAT is involved? Archive assessments can be completed quickly and do not require a significant time commitment from your staff. A consultant will conduct a site visit, which usually lasts half a day, and will interview staff who are familiar with the archive and view materials. An assessment report can be completed within one week and you will have the opportunity to review a draft and suggest revisions.


WHO does the assessment? The assessment can be conducted directly by Dance/USA’s team, with applicable travel expenses to be considered. Dance/USA can also assist in the selection and overseeing of a qualified consultant. A professional conservator or moving image preservation specialist can join the main consultant to provide additional expertise. 

Archive Inventory

WHY do you need an inventory? A detailed inventory of your archives will help you save time by making it easier to find and use documentation of your work, and will also ensure that vital information about your legacy materials is not lost. An inventory will help you in approaching institutions that might be interested in acquiring your collection.


WHAT is involved? Dance/USA has developed inventory spreadsheet templates that can be customized to suit the needs of your collection. An archivist will work on site where your collection is, and will need access to someone who can provide content expertise. The length of time needed to complete an inventory depends on the size of the collection as well as the pace of the work, but for a small to mid-size company the process usually takes 3-6 months.


WHO creates the inventory? In most cases, Dance/USA’s team will assist with hiring a qualified archiving assistant to create the inventory, and will provide oversight and expertise. A successful inventory also requires the contribution of a “content specialist,” someone who is familiar with the collection, repertory, and history of the organization; this might be a long-time team member, former company member, or the choreographer. You should identify someone who can serve in this role and ensure they are available before beginning work.

Digitization Support

WHY work with a digitization consultant? Much of the documentation of dance’s recent past is held on fragile, obsolete video formats, which will deteriorate and become unplayable unless they are transferred to digital files. DVDs are also unreliable for long-term storage and, because they are highly compressed, result in loss of image quality. If you are planning to digitize your videos, it is important to take the right steps to plan a successful and feasible project.


WHAT is involved? A consultant can help to review scope and condition of your AV materials and assist with curation/selection, identification of vendors, creation or revision of metadata, and development of sustainable storage plan.


WHO is the consultant? Dance/USA’s Archiving & Preservation team may act as the digitization consultant or may assist in the selection and overseeing of a qualified consultant.  


Note: all quotes for digitization will cover only the consultant’s time and does not include costs of digitizing, which must be acquired directly from digitization vendors, or purchase of hard drives for storage.  

Webinars and Trainings

WHY host a webinar or training with Dance/USA? Preserve your organization’s legacy and build your skills by participating in professional development. Dance/USA offers customized virtual trainings and webinars on a range of archiving topics including Archives 101, Organizing and Safeguarding Digital Assets, Audiovisual Digitization; and more. Trainings can be tailored to an organization's staff or community. Dance/USA has led webinars and trainings on archiving topics at Dance/USA conferences and convenings, through other service organizations (such as Dance/NYC), and with community partners (such as Brooklyn Arts Exchange and World Arts West)  


WHO does the training? Presenters will include Dance/USA’s Archiving and Preservation team. Depending on the topic of the webinar/training, guest speakers with specialized experience and background may be included as well. Trainings and webinars are generally done remotely via Zoom. 

Archiving Services for Artists and Dance Companies

What do these services cost?

For information about the fees for any of these services, connect with Dance/USA regarding the needs, scope, and timeline of the proposed project. Dance/USA will discuss the requirements and preferences of your organization and the availability of our Archiving and Preservation Department in order to determine how to move your project forward. Contact Dance/USA Archiving Specialist Hallie Chametzky for more information. 

Wondering what resources are available to support your archiving work? See the “Resources” page of the Dance/USA Artist’s Legacy Toolkit.

Archiving Services for Artists and Dance Companies

For more information about the Dance/USA Archiving & Preservation Department, please visit our Team directory

Photo credits: All photographs by 2018 Dance/USA Archiving Fellow Carolina Meneses.

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