Rolf de Maré Study Center

Library, archives and video archive

Rolf de Maré Study Center’s library has a large collection of books on dance and related cultural topics from different parts of the world. The video archive includes approximately 3000 movies on videotape or DVD. The archive consists of Swedish and foreign programs, individual archives and personal photo archives. It contains as well the Ballets Suedois and Rolf de Maré collections.

You are not permitted to loan materials as home loans.

The Study Center is open both for researchers and students as well as the public. You need to book a visit to the Study Center in advance.

Please contact Klara Berggren to make an appointment:
Phone: +46 8 441 76 52 (Monday–Friday 10.00–17.00)
E-mail: bibliotek@dansmuseet.se

Rolf de Maré Study Center is closed:
June 18, 2018 – August 19, 2018
December 17, 2018 – January 13, 2019

How it all began

On 19th June 1931, the papers reported that the art collector and ballet director Rolf de Maré was planning to open a new institution in Paris, Le Archives Internationales de la Danse (AID), to perpetuate the memory of the Swedish Ballet (Le Ballet Suédois) and it’s choreographer Jean Börlin’s and the achivements, and that he also intended to endow two international dance prizes in Jean’s name. The new institution Rolf proposed to found in Paris had a purpose beyond that of paying tribute to his friend’s contribution to modern choreography. This would be the first institute in the world where dance could be studied both historically and ethnographically and which would at the same time preserve important dance memorabilia. Rolf said that, while running the Ballet Suédois, he had discovered how hard it was to find and collect all the necessary material:

We hunted through the libraries of Paris and sometimes had to travel abroad. We did not always know where to lay hands on this or that literary work, this or that costume. We were poorly acquainted with the different systems of classification and cataloguing. In a word, we came up against a thousand difficulties, we wasted any amount of time and we wore ourselves out. The need for a central institute of dance research was obvious. Here I found a new task awaiting me, and I set about it right away.

AID was to be, quite simply, a memory bank of dance.

On 23rd May 1933 Rolf de Maré was able to open the doors of his International Dance Archive at 6 rue Vital in Paris. This was the first museum and research institute anywhere in the world to be devoted to dance. His new creation, he said, would be his magnum opus. The existing building was redesigned and enlarged by the architect Stanislaus Landau. Ellen Roosval presented her son with the sculptural relief La Danse, which was set in the wall of the beautiful courtyard. AID’s activities proliferated and it became a truly international dance centre, which inspired similar archives and collections in other cities. Rolf de Maré emphasised that AID was not just a temple to dance. A dance museum had to be a living institution, dance being an art of movement, and so AID had a programme of activities which included performances, lectures and displays. Rolf’s intention was that AID would strengthen the role of dance in society and enhance its standing to the level of the other fine arts.

At the end of the 1940s, he closed his dance archive in Paris. However, it was continued in his hometown Stockholm instead. The doors to Dansmuseet opened in 1953.

MUSEUM hours

Tuesday–Friday 11.00-17.00
Saturday–Sunday 12.00-16.00
Mondays closed


Adults 120 SEK
Seniors 80 SEK
Students 80 SEK
0–18 years Free admission

Find us

Drottninggatan 17
111 51 Stockholm

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Rolf de Maré Study Center

Library, archives and video archive. Please contact us to make an appointment:

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