Research Center for Arts & Culture
The Actors Fund

Performing Arts Legacy Project

An online platform to document and represent the careers of older performing arts professionals

Overview

PAL is a website where every contributing professional gets to create their own child site within it. It includes a grid mapping one’s professional history, places for audio and oral histories, video and curated life reviews, links to actual performances, journals, blogs and stories. It is built on a WordPress platform and can be edited and changed with help from a Contributor Manual, video tutorials, a Legal Guide to Clearing Rights as well as through a “Help” email, and includes letters and forms to guide professionals in requesting permission to publish uploaded works. PAL is:

Multi-generational
Interactive
Captures memory
Shares collective histories
Multi-media
Life Review
Socialization
Positive Aging
Enhances the quality of people, their communities and society

Our mission is to preserve the legacies of professionals in the performing arts and entertainment, and to achieve this aim we must begin with the basics of digitizing and documenting your work. You may wish to find a student, assistant, or family member to help you with this process, but we are also confident that with some essential tools and the resources we have collected, you can begin to document your career and preserve your legacy through this site.

The first step of beginning to document your career is to consider where and how your records may be stored or kept. We recommend familiarizing yourself with PAL Director Joan Jeffri’s Guide to Getting Organized and exploring the guide to personal archiving and digital preservation prepared by the Library of Congress: there is a video and a text version available. The articles below also offer context and guidance for how to create your own digital archive.

Helpful Tip: Mike Ashenfelder, PAL Advisor and former Director of the Digital Personal Archiving with the Library of Congress, has written many articles on digital archiving. You might find them useful as you get started and organized, and are available on our Resource Materials page.

Technology Resources and Guidance