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Dance Heritage Coalition

Biography Table of Contents Arrangement

Wolfe (Katharine) Papers, 1912-1972

- Scope and Content Note

Scope and Content Note

The Katherine Wolfe Papers primarily document her work on an unpublished dance history book, The Concert Dance, begun during the summer of 1942 and completed in 1960. Research files contain clippings, programs, publicity materials and notes relating to performers, choreographers, companies, and other topics chronicled in the book. As a significant component of her research and writing process, Wolfe conducted at least one interview with most of the individuals discussed in volumes two, three, and four of the book and sought and received their input on her manuscript, incorporating those suggestions or corrections into the final version. The majority of the correspondence is of a professional nature and relates primarily to the development of the book. While the list of correspondents reads like a who's who of early to mid-twentieth century modern dance, among those contributors with whom she carried on a lengthy correspondence are Mary Wigman (with whom Wolfe had studied in the 1930s and to whom she would continue to send care packages in Germany after the war) and long time friend Eleanor King. In addition to some probable earlier drafts of sections of the manuscript, the collection includes a photocopy of the entire 1960 typescript of The Concert Dance. The collection provides a unique perspective on twentieth century American theatrical dance, chiefly composed just before the national dance boom that increased federal funding soon would promote. It also contains some material that may be of interest to researchers of Seattle dance and educational history, including numerous programs of early (and often obscure) local performances, as well as many copies of official Seattle Public Schools communications (Wolfe frequently typed her research notes on the verso of extra mimeographed leaves).
Biography Table of Contents Arrangement