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What Do We Do in the Archives?

  • We support our students’ research.

    MMC’s students take advantage of the opportunity to acquire hands-on archival experience. This letter from La Mama Experimental Theatre Company foundress Ellen Stewart to dance-and-drama critic William B. Harris, whose papers MMC has, raises a wonderful question for students: what did Mr. Harris do to deserve such high praise? Fortunately for the students, the answers are in the same collection, in the file of reviews Mr. Harris wrote.

  • We put historic events in your hands.

    An archive’s first responsibility is to save documents. MMC’s archives has the college’s papers from before the age of electronic saving, plus four collections the archives received because they supported MMC’s work in the performing arts. This particular document is iconic: the poster used during the original run of the legendary musical A Chorus Line, printed after the play had won a Tony.

  • We assist researchers in the larger community of scholars.

    When biographer Yael Tamar Lewin was working on Night’s Dancer, the story of Janet Collins, the first African-American prima ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera, she came to MMC, where Collins taught, to verify employment information. She was delighted to find Collins had been good copy for the student newspaper at the time—which meant more documentation for her book.