Annual Conference of the American Library Association
McCormick Place Convention Center
June 27-July 2, 2013
ACRL Arts/TLA Program
Transformations in Performing Arts Librarianship
Sunday, June 30, 3:00-4:00 pm
McCormick Place Convention Center, Room N427a
The study of the performing arts is being transformed by new methods and technologies, presenting challenges and opportunities to librarians. This session features two panelists, Doug Reside, Digital Curator for the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts, and Susan Wiesner, 2011 Innovation Fellow for the Council of Learned Societies, who will discuss their own groundbreaking work and suggest ways that librarians can engage with new initiatives in the performing arts.
Joint Conference of the American Society for Theatre Research and Theatre Library Association
The Fairmont Dallas Hotel
November 7-10, 2013
The Big D: Big Data and the Performing Arts
The emergence of large digitized collections of humanities resources has made it possible to meaningfully address research questions that previously would have taken many lifetimes to answer. However, theater historians have undertaken relatively little of this kind of work.
Despite large datasets of digitized theater reviews, industry news, and production information [cast lists in Playbill Vault or Internet Broadway Database], theater scholars have by and large continued to do close readings of texts and events – and have not yet attempted what Franco Moretti has called distant reading: analyzing not one small set of texts, but an entire corpus of digitized data.
Some primary examples of large digitized datasets include the Google Books corpus leading to the Google N-Grams viewer, which allows researchers to trace the frequency of words and phrases over two centuries of printed text.
An MIT project is currently mining repositories of digitized sheet music to uncover patterns in chords and melodic motions over time. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University of Toronto are tracking articles in historical newspapers published during the Influenza outbreak of 1918 in order "to understand how newspapers shaped public opinion and represented authoritative knowledge during this deadly Pandemic."
These projects employ methods similar to those developed for research in the sciences in order to expand our understanding of topics of primary interest to humanities scholars.
This field is ripe for exploration. Possible Plenary themes may include:
ATAP Working Session - Expanding Scholarship Through the American Theatre Archive Project
The American Theatre Archive Project is sponsoring a working session at the American Society for Theatre Research/Theatre Library Association conference at the Fairmont Dallas Hotel this coming November. TLA is a partner organization in the American Theatre Archive Project.