Scope and arrangement
The Katy Matheson papers reflect Matheson's work as researcher, editor, writer, teacher, and dance historian, as well as her graduate work in dance history. To a limited extent, her own career in dance is documented. The collection consists of files related to conferences, festivals, and workshops she attended; graduate school work from her studies at New York University; personal material; photographs; annotated programs and news clippings; project files that represent Matheson's work as an editor, researcher, and writer; and her teaching files from the College of New Rochelle and Hofstra University. Matheson often wrote about topics and subjects for multiple projects and repurposed research material. For example, an interview Matheson conducted with dancer Nikita Dolgushin for Dance Theatre Journal was later used for an entry in the International Encyclopedia of Dance. She occasionally filed material from an earlier project with the succeeding project on the same topic.
Files for conferences, workshops, and festivals include transcripts from a talk on improvisation Matheson gave at the Talking Dance Project conference in Berkeley (1994) and correspondence and notebooks from her trip to the Leningrad State Conservatory Festival of Music and Dance (1989). Graduate work contains extensive research material for Matheson's thesis on Niblo's Garden and consists of notes arranged by chapter, subject, or repository visited; typescripts of her thesis; and slides. Other subjects include Kenneth King and the dance partnership of Ted Shawn and Margaret Wallman Correspondence with King and Wallman is interspersed with her research notes. Files on King also contain detailed notes on Matheson's experience dancing in King's piece Battery.
Personal material consists of correspondence, juvenilia, poems, and diary entries, as well as fliers, programs, and choreographic notations that represent Matheson's own work as a dancer. Many diary entries take the form of unsent letters to friends, supervisors, and romantic interests, and represent the concerns, thoughts, and feelings of a young dancer trying to find her personal and professional niche. Photographs are primarily souvenir and publicity photographs of unidentified dancers and include many reproductions of Achille Volpe's images of dancers from the 1920s and 1930s.
Project files are arranged alphabetically by publication or subject. Of note is extensive correspondence with national and international theaters regarding stagings of Balanchine's choreography which Matheson collocated for Choreography by George Balanchine and a transcript of an interview Matheson did with Richard Bull, Cynthia Novack, and Peentz Dubble for her article on "Improvisation" for the International Encyclopedia of Dance. Additional interviews consist of a transcript of her interview with Nikita Dolgushin and audio recordings of Twyla Tharp and Mark Morris recorded for Dance as a Theatre Art. Files for her role of writer, and later associate editor, at Dance Magazine are loosely arranged by magazine section.
Inquiries regarding audio materials in the collection may be directed to the Jerome Robbins Dance Division (firstname.lastname@example.org). Audio materials will be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject format or title.