Scope and arrangement
The Eleanor King Papers span the years 1921-1991 and consist of correspondence, personal papers, teaching notes, syllabi, workshop material, grant applications, choreographed dances with notes (about costumes, music, history and other pertinent material). Also included are drafts of published and unpublished writings (journal articles, reviews and books). There are clippings, photographs, programs and playbills.
The collection is important in its documentation of the development of Modern Dance, through her work with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. She was dance partner with Jose Limon, choreographed dances for Jack Cole, and created several theatre dance companies in New York and Washington state.
The collection includes Miss King's three books. Transformations: The Humphrey-Weidman Years, published in 1977 describes the beginnings of Modern Dance; Transformations: To the West, which is unpublished, continues her journey as independent dancer/choreographer and her beginnings as a teacher of dance and The Way of Japanese Dance a detailed, descriptive account of several hundred-year-old cultural dances from Japan. This book is also unpublished, includes beautiful watercolor sketches of dances and costumes.
The Eleanor King papers are arranged in nine series:
- 1930 - 199112 Boxes
This series consists of correspondence to and from Eleanor King. The personal correspondence is to family members and friends. Many of the letters to her family are in regard to happenings including travel, the countryside, the weather, her adventures, and the people she met. The general correspondence documents her attempts to get The Way of Japanese Dance published
- 1916 - 19902 Boxes
This series consists of biographical, medical, financial and legal material, travel, world events, certificates, mailing lists, passports, elementary school papers and notes to self. Included is an analysis of Eleanor King by Katherine M. H. Blackford, M.D. Dr. Blackford was famous for her observational methods of character analysis.
- 1939 - 19894 Boxes
This series consists of material that Eleanor King used during her teaching career. There are lecture notes and syllabi, student papers, research notes, grant applications and reports, workshop notes and notes used in lectures and demonstrations.
- Sub-series 1 - University of Arkansas, 1951-1971, and other colleges, 1978-1979
- Sub-series 2- Grants, 1939-1981
- Sub-series 3 - Lecture/Demonstrations, 1943-1978
- Sub-series 4 - Workshops, 1942-1989 and Conferences, 1972-1990
- 1931 - 19907 Boxes
This series consists of dances created, choreographed, performed, and taught by Eleanor King. Also included is research information about dances, dancers, and dance programs. There is a small amount of material about dance conferences.
- 1938 - 197911 Boxes
This series consists of published and unpublished writings mostly by Eleanor King. There is a small amount of material written by other authors, with some of that material written about Miss King.
- 1937 - 19911 Box
This series consists of dance programs documenting the life and career of Eleanor King.
- undated1 Box
This series contains clippings about dance and the career of Eleanor King.
- ca. 1929 - 19903 folders
This series consists of photographs spanning the life of Eleanor King, nearly all of the photographs are undated. There are several photographs of Miss King when she was in her teens and twenties. There are several photographs of her as an older woman. Also included are photographs of dancers, dance productions and friends and family.
- 1940 - 198011 Boxes
This series consists of three sub-series: unbound sketches, sketchbooks and musical scores and dance notes. The sketches are of several different mediums—pen and ink, watercolor, crayon, pastels, markers and brush and ink.