The National Resource Centre for Historical Dance

A Permanent home at Kellogg College, Oxford

The National Resource Centre for Historical Dance (NRCHD) is now housed at Kellogg College, Oxford. It was with great pleasure and pride that the Early Dance Circle Committee announced the move at its AGM on 25 October 2014. Our gratitude goes to our previous Chair, Diana Cruickshank, and Secretary, Cathie Bowness, for their strenuous efforts over many years to negotiate a proper home for the NRCHD.

In its new location, the resources of the NRCHD are now shelved and available to readers, on application. The catalogue has been integrated into the University of Oxford’s library database SOLO. A separate catalogue, regularly updated by Kellogg, is also available:

If you encounter any difficulties with this link, please inform the EDC Secretary at Updating the link with Kellogg is occasionally necessary and takes very little time.

If you would like to visit the NRCHD in person please email to arrange an appointment or to request assistance. Appointments are available Monday-Friday during college opening hours (8.30am-6.30pm).

The Early Dance Circle look forward to a fruitful partnership with Kellogg College that will involve exciting developments. For example, the EDC Annual Lecture on Feb. 19 2016 was given by Dr Christine Jackson, Senior Fellow at Kellogg’s. For more information see Past EDC Annual Lectures.


It is possible to download a catalogue in PDF format. This catalogue is divided into five categories: Dance, Dress, Music, Reference and Social Context.

Books in the catalogue above, more recent additions, books from the collections of Peggy Dixon and of Anne Cottis (courtesy of Anne Daye) for example, are now available in the NRCHD and being catalogued onto the Oxford University SOLO system. Three quarters of the books are now catalogued.

For information about holdings, please use this link to Kellogg College Library

If this link does not access the catalogue properly or you have further questions, please contact the EDC Secretary via:

The Circle’s intention is that this should become the most comprehensive accessible working library in the country for Historical Dance. Obviously, it can never have the range of rare publications that are to be found in the British Library and in equivalent national libraries abroad, but it will have a good coverage both of actual books, and of manuscripts and other sources. This material embraces not only dance, but also music, social history and manners, and dress (including costume-making). A large part of this final section is made up of the Elizabeth Wilson Collection.

UPCOMING: A portal of links to dance books available on line, primary sources (held in libraries in London and elsewhere). is in the making. We hope to make it available on the EDC website before long.


The Early Dance Circle is well aware that the collections of the National Resource Centre will be built up mainly by gift and bequest, through the goodwill of existing scholars. It invites the Historical Dance community to support the Centre in this manner and it will be happy to receive any such donations. Anyone wishing to have further information about NRCHD, or to donate materials to the Centre, should contact


In 1999, the EDC announced the foundation of a National Centre for Historical Dance to support the study, re-creation and enjoyment of European dancing as represented in manuscripts and printed books since medieval times.  The Circle had been planning this project for a number of years and it was felt that the time had come to give it at least a notional existence and to appoint David Wilson as the first Honorary Director.

Accommodation was initially provided by the Honorary Director, pending the possibility of permanent housing for the not-inconsiderable archive. In the meantime, books continued to be gathered for the Resource Centre’s library, and many of the first 750 volumes, together with a substantial amount of musical and pictorial archive material, were catalogued.