The Jeanie Thomas Collection falls into three major areas: books, periodicals, and videos/DVDs. All materials are catalogued according to Library of Congress call numbers.
Founding Artistic Director Francia Russell's desk and chair found a new home in PNB's library beneath the plaque and portrait of Jeanie Thomas, who started the library collection. Pacific Northwest Ballet Library is a research library for the study of dance, covering a wide range of dance forms from renaissance dance to modern dance and classical ballet. The collection includes literature related to music, scenic and costume design, and nutrition and health, as well as choreography and dance history. Outside of New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum, Pacific Northwest Ballet Library likely has the most extensive collection of dance-related literature in the nation.
The library also serves as a meeting facility for PNB staff and a quiet place for students to do home work. To serve this purpose, the library has a collection of reference books, dictionaries, and study aids. A large collection of children's books related to dance and music is popular among young dancers and their waiting siblings. See a more detailed library collection description.
The library primarily serves Pacific Northwest Ballet School, dancers, and staff. The library is not open to the general public, but individuals with special interest in dance are always welcome to contact the librarian and make arrangements to use the library.
The library is open when PNB School has classes, generally:
Monday-Friday, 3:00-8:00 pm
Saturday, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
The Jeanie Thomas Collection has a non-loan policy. The library has comfortable furniture and viewing stations for watching dance videos and DVDs.
When Pacific Northwest Ballet moved into the Phelps Center in January 1993, a library was part of the vision for building a state-of-the-art training facility for students of Pacific Northwest Ballet School. In the spring of 1994, the library opened and its outstanding collection of books, periodicals, and videos became available to students and their families, as well as staff and dancers of PNB. The library has always welcomed students and scholars from other research institutions, such as the University of Washington, and individuals with an interest in dance.
Starting long before the library was begun, the collection of dance literature was started, and it has grown steadily due to donations from estates, individual gifts, and purchases. In 2000, the library was named the Jeanie Thomas Collection in honor of PNB's late Director of Education, who was instrumental in establishing the library. Jeanie Thomas was a scholar and dance historian who authored countless program articles for PNB audiences and whose personal collections are now part of the library that carries her name.
In November 2003, a smaller branch library was opened at the Francia Russell Center in Bellevue, which serves the Eastside. This library is named The Patricia Barker Library in honor of one of PNB's ballerinas. Inquiries about the library at the Francia Russell Center can be addressed to the Eastside Librarian, Birgit Hansen, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425.451.1241.
Please contact the library or Pacific Northwest Ballet School to donate any kind of dance related materials you think might be of historical value. You may also donate funds to the library to purchase new reading materials. All books received as donations, or books and videos purchased with donated funds, will be acknowledged with a plaque inside the book or video cover with the donor's name. Some of the most valuable items in the library have reached PNB as donations; PNB is grateful to add your donation and make it available to PNB students, staff, and the greater dance community of Seattle.
Pacific Northwest Ballet Library is always in need of dedicated volunteers. If you are a parent who has time to spend while waiting for your child to take dance class, please contact the librarian. Students and interested individuals who want to spend time working with interesting dance books and videos are also a much appreciated help. No prior library experience is necessary.