Performing arts diversity in the (virtual) stacks

Diversity in the Stacks aims to build library collections that represent and reflect the University’s diverse population, and extends to the field of digital performing arts.

From the Annenberg Center to the Albrecht Music Library, performing arts play a leading role in research and pedagogy  at Penn. 

Members of a dance troupe linking arms in a line during a performance
In a Rhythm by the Bebe Miller Company, performed at On the Boards. (Image: Penn Libraries)

“Performance is core, of course, to the Music, English, and Theater Arts Departments,” explains Nick Okrent, Coordinator and Librarian for Humanities Collections. “But performing arts are also important for fields like education, anthropology, law, and design.” Okrent points to programs such as the Center for Experimental Ethnography and the Collective for Advancing Multimodal Research Arts to illustrate how interdisciplinary scholarship and performance intersect at Penn.

The Penn Libraries hosts a variety of platforms that make digital performing arts content available to the university community. “In keeping with our commitment to have our holdings represent a broad range of traditions and experiences,” says Okrent, “we invest in a remarkable diversity of content.”

As with all on-campus activities, COVID-19 has cut short the performing arts season at Penn. However, thanks to the Libraries’ streaming collection of multi-modal historical and contemporary performances, patrons can still enjoy audio and visual works that reflect the vibrancy and diversity of the Penn performing arts community.

Read more at Penn Libraries.