Steinberg (Stephen Cobbett) Papers
|SCOPE AND CONTENT|
The Stephen Cobbett Steinberg Papers provide insight into Steinberg's life and scholarly research between 1976 and 1991. His contributions to dance scholarship are well-documented in planning and production files on film, television, and writing projects, as well as in samples of reviews and essays written for various performing arts journals. The papers encompass photos, correspondence, clippings, proposals, research notes, interview transcripts, press materials, and publications relating to Steinberg's role as a dance historian, archivist, and filmmaker.
Rather than providing an exhaustive account of Steinberg's work, these papers focus upon a selection of activities that Steinberg felt constituted his most significant contributions to dance scholarship. The papers were partially organized by Steinberg into series on T.V. & Film Projects, Dance Projects, and Writing Projects. These series have been maintained with sub-divisions for each different project.
A great deal of information is available on Steinberg's activities as an historian. Files are present on his production of documentary films for the American Ballet Theatre 50th Anniversary Gala and for commemorative films on Lew Christensen, Nijinksa, and Beach Blanket Babylon. The papers also include research files on an NEA/Mellon Foundation-sponsored dance documentation study. These provide insight into the state of dance documentation in the Bay Area and highlight the need for better archival programs and facilities for the local dance community. Steinberg's research on dance is also evident in lecture notes for classes given at Stanford University and in articles he wrote for the San Francisco Ballet Magazine and New West and for Dance Critics Association conference proceedings.
The papers also reveal Steinberg's contributions as an arts administrator. Files are present on the organization of two international dance critics' conferences hosted by the San Francisco Performing Arts Libary and Museum, as well as on the library's long-range plans and efforts to establish a Dance Resource Center and a Dance Video Library. Steinberg's participation on an NEA panel for selection of choreography fellows and on the nominating committee for the Isadora Duncan Awards is well-documented in correspondence and minutes. In addition, the papers include documentation on publicity campaigns Steinberg conceived of and produced for WNET-TV, KQED-TV, and the archives. One aspect of Steinberg's career which is poorly documented is his organization of twelve exhibits for the San Francisco Performing Arts Libary and Museum. The papers also do not contain documentation for Steinberg's research and production of San Francisco Ballet: the First Fifty Years.
Other collections at SF PALM that complement these papers are the Biographical Files, SF PALM Records, Dance Miscellaneous Files on T.V., Video, and Film, and the American Ballet Theatre Collection's materials on the 50th Anniversary Gala. The biographical file on Steinberg provides additional personal information in the form of resumes, obituaries, photographs, biographies, and tributes. The library also owns copies of several of Steinberg's monographs, as well as videotapes of the films documented in these papers.