Laban Archives and Special Collections

by | Dec 7, 2016 | 3 comments

There are a number of organisations and individuals across the UK, Europe and beyond who hold archive materials produced by Rudolf Laban, his colleagues or pupils or which are in some way linked to Laban’s work. Some key organisations for these collections include the National Resource Centre for Dance (University of Surrey), Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Leeds University, Tanzarchiv Leipzig and the Kunsthaus in Zurich. However, there are many more treasures held in other institutions or within personal collections.

This group would like to encourage not only those who hold collections to contribute but also any individual interested in exploring and discussing Laban\’s work through reference to archive sources.

Background photograph: Portrait of Rudolf Laban, June 1954. Photographer: Edwin A. Loeb
Ref No: LC/A/1/5/33, Laban Archive, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance


  1. Susan L. Wiesner

    Thefinding aid for the Irmgard Bartenieff Papers held at the University of Maryland, Special Collections in the Performing Arts can be found here:
    We are currently processing the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS) collection
    AND there will be an online exhibit of the Irmgard Bartenieff Papers in May 2017.
    AND we are reconstructing/re-imagining one of Bartenieff’s choreographic scores from 1927. further info later!

  2. Helen Roberts

    Happy Birthday Rudolf Laban!

    Rudolf Laban was born on this day (15th December) 137 years ago, 1879, in Bratislava. Archives & Special Collections at University of Surrey hold the personal archive of this man who holds so much significance to the study of movement internationally. He was a visual artist, dancer, choreographer, movement analysis, educator and theoretician. The collection holds a wealth of material generated by Laban through his prolific and wide-ranging work, much of it between 1938 when he came to England until 1958 when he died but there are many items from his earlier life too. This includes manuscripts, correspondence, many hundreds of drawings, printed ephemera, silent film footage and photographs.

    The archive contains items linked to his birthdays such as cards sent to him, copies of his thank you letters and photograph such as the one here. This was taken on his 76th birthday in 1955 at the Art of Movement Studio in Addlestone, Surrey and was part of a tree planting ceremony.

    1955. Photographer unknown. Ref No. L/F/3/70. Rudolf Laban Archive, University of Surrey.


  3. Jane Fowler

    This year marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Art of Movement Studio (now the Faculty of Dance, Trinity Laban). To celebrate, the Laban Library and Archive has written a blog post each month this year focusing on the history of the Studio and the personalities who were instrumental in its development. To find out more, take a look at our blog at

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