Laban Centre for Movement and Dance Library and Archives

A glass and metal building set into rolling grassy knolls
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Our Library offers probably the largest and most varied open access research collection on dance and related subjects in the UK, covering many aspects of dance in a variety of formats and languages.

Its catalogue can be searched for books, journals, CDs, videos or software. These items are now located within the simple layout of this new purpose-built facility. The Library also holds the catalogue of the New York Public Library’s Dance Collection which it uses as an index to its extensive journal collection.

The Library produces Dance Resources on the Net, a guide on the web to good quality internet resources on dance. This can provide answers to a range of frequently asked subject enquiries as well as links to resources, like other catalogues and indexes, for the dance researcher.

Venue Type:

Archive, Library

Opening hours

We welcome visitors who wish to use the Library and Archives for reference use. Please check the availability of items and opening times - appointments are required to use the Archives.

Please see the Laban website for opening times and charges:

Admission charges

We ask visitors to pay £10 (£5 concs) per day or part of a day.

The Archives consist of a number of individual collections which have been donated or built up over the years. Whilst tying in with the Centre’s focus on contemporary dance, the contents reflect the wide dance interests of students and covers all forms of dance and the production of the dance product.

Laban Collection: The personal papers, notated scores, photographs, drawings and books of Rudolf von Laban (1879 - 1958) and his associates in Germany in the 1920s and ‘30s, in Manchester (Manchester Dance Circle) and Addlestone, Surrey (Art of Movement Studio) in the 1940s and ‘50s.

Peter Brinson Collection: Personal papers, articles, conference papers and a complete record of the activities of the touring company Ballet for All, which pioneered education about classical ballet to the community.

Peter Williams Collection: A collection of photographs, programmes, company press books and miscellaneous papers from the office of the editor of Dance and Dancers.

Sylvia Bodmer Collection (1902 - 1989): A pupil of Laban - one of his solo dancers in Stuttgart and Hamburg in the early 1920s - she is known as one of the most distinguished exponents of Dance and Movement. The collection contains notebooks in both her and Laban’s hand, containing drawings and notes, correspondence, photographs and programmes and news sheets of the Manchester Dance Circle.

We also hold the archives of the Transitions Dance Company and archival material from Bonnie Bird, Stuart Hopps, Simone Michelle, the Carol Brahms 1930's Photograph Collection amongst other and a large collection of notation and other materials on historical dance donated by Shirley Wynne.

Collection details

Archives, Performing Arts, Personalities

Key artists and exhibits

  • Rudolf von Laban
  • Manchester Dance Circle
  • Art of Movement Studio
  • Peter Brinson
  • Peter Williams
  • Sylvia Bodmer
  • Transitions Dance Company
  • Bonnie Bird
  • Stuart Hopps
  • Simone Michelle
  • Carol Brahms 1930s Photograph Collection
  • Shirley Wynne

Laban Centre for Movement and Dance Library and Archives
Laban Centre for Movement and Dance
Greater London




020 8691 8600

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.