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Dance Research Guide

Your guide to Dance resources in the UMD Libraries!

Dance in the Libraries

      "Fondly Do We Hope...Fervently Do We Pray" by Bill T. Jones  [image from]


By navigating the tabs on the left, this guide provides an overview of library resources that support Dance research and education.

Though not exhaustive, it is an introduction to the core Dance-centric tools and resources available at University of Maryland.

Please feel free to use the profile boxes on this guide to contact the library subject specialist dance if you have questions or feedback regarding, but not limited to: 

  • using this guide
  • using the resources listed here
  • resources you feel should be included/excluded
  • general reference help

Good luck with your Dance research! We want to also highlight a new (as of 2021) research guide from our friends over at the Library of Congress: Dance Research at the Library of Congress. That link will give you access to archive collections from throughout LOC's extensive resources.

About The Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library (MSPAL)

Opened in 2001 as part of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library (MSPAL) is the central location on the College Park campus for music, theatre, and dance materials.

Our holdings total over 56,000 books, 156,000 musical scores, 130,000 audio and video recordings, 4500 microform titles, and 281 active journal subscriptions - and they keep growing!

MSPAL is also home to two Special Collections units:

  • Special Collections in Performing Arts (SCPA) 


  • International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM)

Both have materials that may be of interest to dance researchers. Special Collections play by different library rules, so don't be afraid to contact the curators of SCPA and IPAM for help using their collections.


After an instruction session from a librarian, please fill out this really brief form (it's just 3 questions) ->