About the Collection

The Jacob’s Pillow Archives document the history of Jacob’s Pillow and the artists who have contributed to its legacy, with particular emphasis on Ted Shawn, Ted Shawn’s Men Dancers, and the Denishawn Company.

The collections include audiotapes, board minutes, books, correspondence, costumes, films, photographs, posters, programs, scrapbooks, videos, and more. The Archives is one component of the Pillow’s Preservation Program, which also includes the documentation of the ongoing activities of Jacob’s Pillow and Audience Engagement programing like our PillowTalks and exhibitions exploring various aspects of dance history.

Another fantastic Archives resource is Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive. Documenting hundreds of artists who have appeared at the Pillow from the 1930s to the present day, this online site offers carefully-chosen excerpts from the Archives’ extensive video collection accompanied by contextual information, plus an extensive section of multimedia essays that include talks, photos, and other exclusive content organized into various themes.

Visit the Archives

On-Site Access

The center for most of Jacob’s Pillow’s preservation activities is Blake’s Barn, an 18th century building that was relocated to the Pillow grounds and reconfigured specifically for this purpose. Blake’s Barn includes a large exhibition gallery, an outdoor area for lectures and talks called Sommerspace, The Norton Owen Reading Room, and a new Special Collections Room. Visitors can watch videos, see exhibits from the Archives’ permanent collection, browse the library, and access other materials from the Archives.

During Festival 2023 (June 28-August 27), this research facility is open to the general public Tuesday & Sunday noon-5pm and Wednesday-Saturday noon-final curtain.

Throughout the fall, winter, and spring, the Archives may be visited during regular business hours (9:30am-5pm) by appointment. Please contact preservation@jacobspillow.org or phone 413-243-9919, ext. 150 to make an appointment.


The Archives provide many unique opportunities to attend and participate in moderated interviews and discussions related to the dance field with artists and historians, film screenings, and more.

Festival 2023 includes a range of Talks with leaders in our field across styles and disciplines. These include free hour-long PillowTalks, which are held onsite at Blake’s Barn at 4pm on Saturdays and some Sundays throughout the Festival.


Onsite exhibitions are a crucial way the Archives engages audiences with photograhs, artworks, costumes, and other objects from the Jacob's Pillow Archives. Come to the Pillow this summer to experience the multiple engaging onsite exhibitions.

Online Access

Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive: an online resource that includes unique video content filmed at Jacob's Pillow from the 1930's to today and multimedia themes and essays curated by eminent dance scholars with exclusive content from the Pillow's extensive Archives.

PillowVoices: Dance Through Time: a podcast series that highlights key figures and events from dance history utilizing archival recordings brought to life in the personal stories and narration of current thought-leaders and scholars.

PillowTV: Jacob’s Pillow’s YouTube channel includes hundreds of videos of Jacob’s Pillow Scholars-in-Residence speaking with a diverse range of artists in our Post-Show Talks and PillowTalk.

Past Performers at Jacob’s Pillow: a complete list of all artists and companies that have performed at Jacob’s Pillow from 1933 to today.