The Library of Congress
[American Memory]

An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Intstructor Manuals, Ca.1490-1920
Music Division, Library of Congress

Search by Keyword | Browse by Subject | Author | Title
Complete Author/Title List | Video Directory
An American Ballroom Companion presents a collection of over two hundred social dance manuals at the Library of Congress. The list begins with a rare late fifteenth-century source, Les basses danses de Marguerite d'Autriche (c.1490) and ends with Ella Gardner's 1929 Public dance halls, their regulation and place in the recreation of adolescents. Along with dance instruction manuals, this online presentation also includes a significant number of antidance manuals, histories, treatises on etiquette, and items from other conceptual categories. Many of the manuals also provide historical information on theatrical dance. All illuminate the manner in which people have joyfully expressed themselves as they dance for and with one another.
The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.

The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.

Special Presentations

Western Social Dance: An Overview of the Collection

How to Read a Dance Manual

Understanding the Collection

About the Collection

Selected Bibliography

Collection Connections

Working with the Collection

Building the Digital Collection

Searching the Collection

How to View: Text Documents | Video

Copyright and Other Restrictions


American Memory | Search All Collections | Collection Finder | Teachers
Please Read Our
Legal Notices