In the dance year 2016, the Association of German Dance Archives (VDT), together with the German Dance Archive Cologne and the German Dance Association, invited dance professionals, representatives of educational and training institutions, academics and archivists to Cologne to discuss new ways of accessing the history and present of dance for a broad audience. The presentations, talks and discussions focused on the perspectives and progress of digitization, rights issues and individual access possibilities to the knowledge about dance housed in the archives, such as login-based access or virtual reading rooms on the Internet.
One result of the conference was, among others, the Cologne Declaration on the Future of Dance Archives in Germany, which is part of the documentation you can access here (only in German).
Among other things, it stated:
"Individual federal states, the federal government itself and private foundations make possible - more or less sustainably - the existence of dance archives. However, with regard to the growing demands - acquisition, safeguarding, availability - the archives are left alone. Especially the challenges of comprehensive digitization cannot be met by the archives alone.
! If the knowledge about the history of dance in Germany is to last and have a future, the existence, functionality and professional equipment of the archives must be secured in the long term.
! In order to preserve this national cultural asset in the long term, the archives need special support for conservation measures, security filming and digitization.
! To improve accessibility, the archives must be put in a position to develop modern forms of networking and online access to finding aids and documents.
A nationwide initiative for the dance archives in Germany is urgently needed!"