The Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev collection is an online presentation by the Library of Congress, with sources and information selected from a variety of other Library of Congress Collections. It focuses on a pivotal time and group in ballet history- the Ballet Russe, which performed from 1909-1929 in Europe and throughout the western hemisphere. The Ballet Russe was known for its collaborations with visual and auditory artists of all kinds- dancers and choreographers, composers, set and costume designers, etc. This collection includes photographs, scrapbooks, writings, costume and set designs, choreographic notes, music scores, diaries, and programs related to the Ballet Russes’ history and legacy upon modern ballet.

Beyond this collection, the Library of Congress website is an open-access resource available for students and teachers to browse. It boasts a wide selection of documents, many of which are free to use. These documents include photographs, books, films, web archives, legislation and more, from a range of subjects and time periods. The Library of Congress also offers some lesson plans making use of primary sources they host, a blog describing teaching methods, and other resources to enhance both the student and teacher experience. These resources, combined with its easy to use platform, make it, as well as this collection, great resources and guides for use in the classroom.

For this resource, there are a variety of options for it to add to classroom learning. For one, there are articles and essays attached to this presentation that add context to the collection. In addition to that, there are a wide variety of source types that are included, meaning students can get a more well-rounded view of the history they are discussing. For a visual art like ballet, seeing it and its history is equally as important to understanding its history. Perusing the photographs, drawings, and even the texts would serve as excellent student activity, introducing students to a subject as well as piquing their interest.

Reviewed by Carolyn Mason, George Mason University
How to Cite This Source
Carolyn Mason, Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev in World History Commons,