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 provide a forum to initiate a conversation between two previously unconnected groups of people: practitioners and researchers from library & information science, and those from theatre and performance studies.

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

A greater, shared understanding of performance as a document, and the documentation of performance should in turn 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 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 teachers, 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.


Interest in the project, and its continuation.

A blog relating to performance as a document, and the documentation of performance:

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 and materials for the masters courses in Library Science and Information Science at City.

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.