Info in the Arts: Online Resource Smorgasbord

There are all kinds of fantastic arts-related tools hiding out there on the open web.  Here are a few random favorites of mine:

Chinese Painting and Calligraphy at the Seattle Art Museum – This is a fantastic online interactive exhibit of 150 works of painting and calligraphy.  Not only are the digital images high quality, but there are translations of the texts and seals, extensive descriptive essays, bibliographies and provenance.

Internet Broadway Database – Created and maintained by the Broadway League, this documents all shows performed on Broadway.  It provides fairly exhaustive information about opening night cast and production staff of original performances and revivals.  You can also learn about venues and easily track the Broadway performance histories of any of the professionals documented in this resource.

An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals 1490-1920 (LOC) – A classic from the Library of Congress, this primary source collection mostly has dance instruction handbooks but also includes scores for dance music, etiquette guides, and even anti-dance treatises.  The collection is mostly made up of texts published in the US but also contains some European works.

Liedernet Archive – In spite of its utilitarian and old-school appearance, this is a great place to start when looking for song texts and translations.  What is impressive for a web tool this old is that it is still being updated.  Keep in mind that translations are done on a volunteer basis, so I would use it paired with our more academic translation books in the reference section.

— Jessica Hronchek, Research and Instruction Librarian, Visual and Performing Arts


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