The Peabody Ballroom Experience advances original research and public humanities scholarship by connecting faculty, students, and ballroom artists to the Sheridan Libraries & University Museums’ special collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archives.
These collections span 5,000 years of rare and unique objects and texts, from ancient cuneiform tablets and Egyptian papyri to 20th-century African American photography, U.S. suffrage movement records, and, through our efforts, Baltimore ballroom history.
Our annual ball competition categories are co-curated by a ballroom advisory board and JHU curators. Library curators begin by presenting JHU’s special collections of books, manuscripts, and archives at workshops and informal gatherings. Ballroom artists then interpret those collections through ballroom performance traditions. The team ultimately co-produces the runway, vogue, and realness performance categories that make up our ball competitions. Read more about our co-curation in this blog post and this Radical History Review post.