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Trinity Laban, Laban Library and Archive

Contact Details


Telephone: +44 (0)20 8469 9538

Primary Email:

Primary Website: Click here

Secondary Website: Click here

Primary Contact: Jane Fowler, Archivist

Secondary Contact: Ralph Cox, Head of Library and Archive

Conditions of Access

We welcome visitors who wish to use the Library and Archive for reference use. We ask visitors to pay a visitor’s fee as listed below. Visits to the Archive are by appointment only during office hours.

Library Opening Times:
Term time
Monday to Thursday 9am to 8pm
Friday 9am to 5pm
Saturday 10.30am to 2.30pm
Sunday Closed

Vacation time
Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm
Friday 9am to 5pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Archive Opening Times:
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm by appointment only

Charges for visitors to the Library and Archive are as follows:
Ex-students who left last academic year - Free.

Other Alumni members and students at other institutions
£2.50 for five hours / £5 per day / £10 per week / £25 per quarter (3 calendar months) / £50 per year.

Other visitors £5 for five hours / £10 per day / £20 per week / £50 per quarter (3 calendar months) / £100 per year.

We can carry out initial searches (up to 15 minutes without charge) for specific enquiries received by letter or e-mail, and will advise you about the applicable fees, should we estimate that your enquiry will take longer.

The majority of the Archive’s holdings are covered by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Copyright (Librarians and Archivists) (Copying of Copyright Material) Regulations 1989. A fee will be charged for the copying of archive materials. Photocopying of original documents often has to be restricted for copyright and/or conservation reasons. You will be asked to sign a copyright declaration before starting work in the Archive, declaring that any copies made are for your personal research only.

A Library and Archive Visitor’s Registration form must be completed by researchers who are not Laban students or staff. All researchers intending to use the Archive must complete the Library and Archive Visitor’s Registration form and must show proof of signature and address.

All bags, briefcases and parcels must be deposited with the Library and Archive staff. All items taken out of the premises may be subject to inspection.

Photography intended for reproduction must be negotiated with the archivist or librarians. The use of hand-held scanners/copiers is not permitted.

It is prohibited to use crayons, paints, correction fluid, glue, ink, scissors, staplers or equipment which might damage Library and Archive materials, especially within the archive study area.

When using archival materials, only pencils or portable computers may be used for taking notes.

Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the premises.

No food or drink of any kind, including sweets and chewing gum or water, may be brought into or consumed in the archive study area. Bottled water may be consumed within the Library.

Mobile phones should be switched off before entering the Library.

Finding Aids
A guide to the collections is available at the archive study area in the library. An open access card index to five of the collections is available. Collections are currently being catalogued on to CALM and it is expected that this will be available for public access at the archive study area in 2009.
Summary of Holdings
Laban Collection: The personal papers, notation scores, photographs, drawings and books of Rudolf Laban (1879-­1958) and his associates in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, in Manchester (Manchester Dance Circle) and Addlestone, Surrey (Art of Movement Studio) in the 1940s and 1950s. This collection is the only place where some of this material is available in the UK. The collection includes oral interviews with former pupils of Rudolf Laban, as well as with Lola Rogge, Käthe Wulff, Beatrice Loeb, John Hodgson, Lisa Ullmann and many others. It covers the dates 1918-­2001.

Laban Centre Archive: Laban’s own administrative archive, this collection documents and records the history of the organisation from 1955 to the present day. It comprises administrative files, minutes, architectural plans, photographs, videos, correspondence, publicity material, course information and financial papers. A new project has recently begun to record interviews with prominent people in the history of Laban, c1955-2000.

Bonnie Bird Collection: Instrumental in the evolution of Laban into the leading dance education and training school it is today, Bonnie Bird helped to establish the first dance degree course in higher education. The collection, covering the dates 1970-1989, comprises working files and notes, oral history tapes with transcripts, b/w photographs and a large scrapbook.

Sylvia Bodmer Collection: A pupil of Laban – one of his solo dancers in Stuttgart and Hamburg in the early 1920s – Sylvia Bodmer is known as one of the most distinguished exponents of Dance and Movement. This collection comprises notebooks in both her and Laban’s hand, containing drawings and notes, correspondence and photographs, as well as programmes and news sheets of the Manchester Dance Circle, c.1920-1989.

Caryl Brahms Collection: Best known for her collaboration with Ned Sherrin on shows and musicals for the stage, radio and television, Caryl Brahms was also a noted ballet critic for the Evening Standard and the Daily Telegraph. The collection consists of b/w photographs of the Ballets Russes from the 1930s and 1940s.

Peter Brinson Collection: Working files, reports, press cuttings, personal papers, articles, conference papers of Peter Brinson, former Head of Postgraduate Studies at Laban; and a complete record of the activities of the touring company Ballet for All, which pioneered education about classical ballet to the community and which Brinson directed. This collection is of particular significance for researchers interested in community dance, dance education, minority groups’ projects and arts policy, c.1958-1994.

Senta Hirtz Collection: Photographs and programmes of a Medau-trained dancer, c.1928-1978.

Maureen Leon Collection: Photograph album, b/w loose photographs, Laban Art of Movement Guild leaflets and programmes, from a former dance student of Laban based movement, c.1940-1995.

Dorothy Madden Archive: Personal and administrative papers, photographs, programmes, newspaper cuttings and audiovisual materials of Dr Dorothy Madden, former Professor Emerita of the University of Maryland, USA, who was responsible for bringing American modern dance practice to the UK, c.1930-2004.

Peter Williams Collection: A collection of photographs, programmes, company press books and miscellaneous papers documenting the running of the Dance and Dancers journal, of which Peter Williams was the editor, for the period 1950-1989.

Lorna Wilson Collection: Copies of photographs, articles and note books for the period 1942-1966 from a Laban-influenced dance lecturer.

Transitions Dance Company Archive: The archive of Laban’s in-house company, includes moving image material, administrative files, photographs, slides, programmes and publicity material, c.1985-2004.
Size of Collection

The Peter Williams Collection: c.35,000 black and white photographs. The Laban Collection: c.5,000 photographs. Caryl Brahms Collection: c.200 black and white photographs. The other collections have an unknown quantity of photographs.