Mission Statement


Founded in 1937, the Theatre Library Association supports librarians and archivists affiliated with theatre, dance, performance studies, popular entertainment, motion picture and broadcasting collections. TLA promotes professional best practices in acquisition, organization, access and preservation of performing arts resources in libraries, archives, museums, private collections, and the digital environment. By producing publications, conferences, panels, and public events, TLA fosters creative and ethical use of performing arts materials to enhance research, live performance, and scholarly communication.



About TLA's Members and Activities

Today's membership consists not only of curators, librarians and historians, but also archivists, scholars, performers, writers, designers, collectors and students who actively promote the collection, preservation and use of performing arts materials. BROADSIDE, TLA's newsletter, had its beginnings at the outset and continues to feature articles related to collections and exhibitions, book reviews and membership news. Performing Arts Resources, an occasional monograph, focuses on resources in the fields of theatre, popular entertainment, film, radio and television and the conservation and collection management of these materials.

Two Book Awards are presented annually: the George Freedley Memorial Award for the best work on live theatre published in the United States and the Richard Wall Memorial Award for the best on recorded performance, film, television or broadcasting. The Louis Rachow Distinguished Service in Performing Arts Librarianship Award honors an individual who has made a noteworthy contribution to the profession. The Brooks McNamara Performing Arts Librarian Scholarship acknowledges the accomplsihments of promising students.

The development and promotion of professional library expertise and standards are achieved through the activities of the Strategic Planning, Publications, Conference Planning, Awards, Membership and Nominating Committees (as well as Ad Hoc committees created by the Board of Directors). In addition to an annual business meeting, TLA plans and participates in annual Conferences of the American Society for Theatre Research and the American Library Association. Representation in SIBMAS (International Association of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts) remains a top priority.


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Last updated: November 3, 2013