The Future of Documents Project: documenting performance

Monday 31st October 2016

Northampton Suite, at City, University of London

This one day interdisciplinary symposium brought together scholars, researchers, artists and practitioners from the disciplines of library & information science and theatre & performance, to share and consider respective conceptual views of documents, and the processes and procedures associated with documentation. The day focused on the description, recording, archiving and preservation of performance, including: dance, music, theatre, performance and performance art.


The aim of this event, the first of its kind, was to initiate a dialog between two previously unconnected groups of people: practitioners and researchers from library & information science, and those from theatre and performing arts.

The conversation aimed to raise awareness of, and interest in, the question of what is a document, and how the theory and practice of collecting, indexing, preserving, accessing and using the records of performance, are understood, explored and developed by different disciplines.

A greater, shared insight into how we can understand performance as a document, and the documentation of performance, will enhance the creation of cultural collections, which will allow us to benefit from researching, remixing and recreating performance in all its instantiations, throughout history, to modern times.

Cooperative work will lead to improvements in current documentation practice, ideas for new/best practice, new ideas for teaching and research, and innovative ways for students, practitioners, researchers, academics, artists and the wider community to  benefit from performance and performance collections and archives.


The material shared, discussed and developed at this symposium (and throughout the project) will be of interest and beneft to: library & information professionals; library & information science lecturers, scholars and researchers; artists, performers, creators, researchers, archivists and curators within the field of theatre and performance; professionals working within cultural heritage institutions; arts policy developers.


If you would like to contribute to the blog, please send your ideas, or text to Lyn Robinson or Joseph Dunne.

  • New teaching contacts, concepts, materials and ideas for masters level teaching in library & information science.
  • A second Symposium, DocPerform 2, is planned for November 2017, for which we hope to publish papers presented in a special journal issue. (TBA)

Organisers: Lyn Robinson & Joseph Dunne

Background: Original Call for Papers


Storify of #docperform:

Hashtag: #docperform

Timings: Registration from 10.30, Main Sessions 11.00 – 17.00, Drinks Reception 17.00-18.00

Venue: Northampton Suite, University Building, City, University of London, Northampton Square, EC1V 0HB

Programme: Please note timings and speakers may be subject to change

Booking a place: LInk to the Eventbrite booking site for historic purpose. The event *SOLD OUT*. Attendance free, but registration required. Anyone with an interest in the documentation of performance welcome!

Sponsors: Our drinks reception sponsored by #CityLIS and Midsea Books.

Speakers: List of all of the speakers. Individual speaker pages with biographies and abstracts can also be found from the respective links in the Programme.

Thankyou: To Joe, Ludi, Tia, TomA and DB.