Guide to the Papers of Shirley McKechnie

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MS 9553

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Creator
Shirley McKechnie
Title
Papers of Shirley McKechnie
Date Range
1938 - 1996
Collection Number
MS 9553
Extent
0.78 metres (5 ms boxes + 1 packet)
Language of Materials
English
Repository
Special Collections (Manuscripts)

Introduction

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the papers relate to Shirley McKechnie's involvement in the development of contemporary dance in Australia. The papers include correspondence, 1966-1996, a report of a 1974 study tour to investigate how dance is incorporated into the education system and a subsequent submission of the State College of Victoria Accreditation Committee, 1977, papers relating to a choreographic workshop at the University of New England, 1976, copies of papers presented at a dance education conference, 1977, papers relating to 'Canon for four dancers' which was choreographed by McKechnie, 1988, a report of a visit to China for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 1992, and papers relating to the first meeting of the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia, 1996. Also included in this collection are papers relating to McKechnie's involvement in the Green Mill Dance Project, 1991-1994, and her long association with both Dame Peggy van Praagh and Peter Brinson. There are posters, programs and brochures, 1956-1972, press cuttings, 1964-1996, photographs, and correspondence. Correspondents include Werdon Anglin, Peter Brinson, Lenton Parr, Gordon van Praagh, Peggy van Praagh, Ian Spink and Janet Vernon.

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1050223).

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Shirley McKechnie, National Library of Australia, [class/series/ file number]'.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was acquired in three instalments in 2001 from Shirley McKechnie, as part of the Library's 'Keep Dancing' project. Further papers were added in 2010.

The papers of Peggy van Praggh (MS 7223) and the records of the Green Mill Dance Project (MS 9370) are held in the Library's Manuscript Collection.

The Library's Oral History Collection includes a sound recording of an interview with McKechnie recorded in 1989 (ORAL TRC 2517).

Arrangement

Although the general arrangement of the papers has been imposed by the Library, all files created by McKechnie have been kept intact.

Biographical Note

A dancer, teacher, choreographer and dance director, Shirley McKechnie is one of the pioneers of contemporary dance in Australia. She founded the Australian Contemporary Dance Theatre in 1963 and was the company's artistic director and main choreographer between 1963-1973. In 1975 McKechnie founded and directed the first degree course in dance studies in an Australian tertiary institution at Rusden College, now Deakin University. With Dame Peggy van Praagh she founded the Australian Association For Dance Education (now Ausdance) in 1977. In 1986 McKechnie was founding chair of the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia, and in 1991 was involved in the formation of the Green Mill Dance Project in Melbourne.

McKechnie has served on national and international panels for the accreditation of dance courses, for symposiums on research into dance and as a consultant to government on policies on dance education. In 1998 she was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Awards: 1987 Order of Australia, in recognition of services to dance and dance education; 1993 Kenneth Myer Medallion for the Performing Arts; 1997 The National Award for contributions to dance education and training; 1998 The Ausdance 21 Award for outstanding and distinguished service.

Item Descriptions

Class MS 9553. Consignments received 2001

Correspondence, 1966-1996, a report of a 1974 study tour to investigate how dance is incorporated into the education system and a subsequent submission of the State College of Victoria Accreditation Committee, 1977, papers relating to a choreographic workshop at the University of New England, 1976, copies of papers presented at a dance education conference, 1977, papers relating to "Canon for four dancers" which was choreographed by McKechnie, 1988, a report of a visit to China for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 1992, and papers relating to the first meeting of the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia, 1996. Also includes papers relating to McKechnie's involvement in the Green Mill Dance Project, 1991-1994, and her long association with both Dame Peggy van Praagh and Peter Brinson. There are posters, programs and brochures, 1956-1972, press cuttings, 1964-1996, photographs, and correspondence. (4 boxes).

Correspondence: includes letters from Ian Spink and Janet Vernon, 1971 (File 1) - Box 1

Correspondence: letters to Peggy van Praagh, 1974 (File 2) - Box 1

Correspondence: letters to Lenton Parr, 1974 (File 3) - Box 1

Report of study tour to the United States of America, England and Europe, 1974 (File 4) - Box 1

Photographs from the Summer School at the University of New England, Armidale, 1974 (File 5) - Box 1

Choreographic Workshops, University of New England, Armidale, 1976 (File 6-7) - Box 1

Canon for four dancers: choreographic notes and program, 1988 (File 8) - Box 1

Miscellaneous posters, reviews and programs, 1964-1972 (File 9) - Box 1

Correspondence and papers relating to McKechnie's career, 1966-1987 (File 10) - Box 2

Correspondence re Victorian State Ministry issues, 1976-1984 (File 11) - Box 2

Correspondence: Victorian Ministry for the Arts, the Benesh Institute and various choreographers and companies, 1988-1992 (File 12) - Box 2

Correspondence: Werdon Anglin, Peter Brinson, Marion North and various choreographers, 1990-1995 (File 13-14) - Box 2

Report and correspondence relating to a visit to China on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 1992 (File 15) - Box 2

Correspondence relating to Peggy van Praagh, 1990-1996 (File 16) - Box 2

Letter to Owen White (File [unnumbered]) - Box 2a

Correspondence and papers relating to the death of Peggy van Praagh, 1990-1993 (File 17) - Box 3

Register of those who attended the funeral of Peggy van Praagh, 1990 (File 18) - Box 3

Booklet from Van Praagh family reunion, 1996

Papers relating to the involvement of Peggy van Praagh and Peter Brinson with the University of New England, Armidale, 1982-1997 (File 19) - Box 3

Copy of 'Submission for the introduction of dance as a major strand within the Bachelor of Education Degree', c1976 (File 20) - Box 3

Dance Education conference papers, 1977 (File 21) - Box 3

Report of a meeting between the artistic directors of major funded dance companies and the National Council of Tertiary Dance Directors

Green Mill Dance Project: historical background, 1991 (File 22) - Box 3

Green Mill Dance Project: correspondence with Peter Brinson, 1992 (File 23) - Box 3

Green Mill Dance Project: reports of the 1993 festival (File 24) - Box 4

Green Mill Dance Project: papers and reports, 1994 (File 25) - Box 4

Agenda, minutes and papers for the first meeting of the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia, 1996 (File 26) - Box 4

Reviews and articles by McKechnie for Storm magazine, 1994-1995 (File 27) - Box 4

Miscellaneous programs and brochures, 1956-1972 (File 28) - Box 4

Press cuttings, 1964-1996 (File 28) - Box 4

Personal papers, including high school and university reports and awards for achievements in dance (File 29) - Box 4

Photographs (File 30) - Box 4

Copy of The arts in schools: principles, practice and provision, researched and edited by Dr Ken Robinson, 1989 (File 31) - Box 4

Class MS Acc10.024. Consignment received 2010

Comprises a display folder containing programs and news clippings collected by McKechnie and her colleague Ilma Ladner. The material lists McKechnie and Ladner as dancers in various ensembles (1 packet).


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