A worldwide platform for circus arts research is online

Circus Arts Research Platform (CARP) is a free resource website for academic research and studies related to the circus arts.

Published online at www.CircusArtsResearchPlatform.com, the platform stimulates and strengthens collaboration between scholars and professionals interested in circus arts studies across all academic disciplines. It offers to the academic community an international directory of researchers and an international, accessible bibliography of academic publications related to circus arts studies. It also gives information on current academic research in circus arts to a wider public.

The platform collects and maps universities and research institutions with circus-related research programs or research chairs; institutions offering residencies to scholars, as well as relevant collections in circus art.

At the time of the launch in August 2018, the platform contains more than 120 profiles of researchers, references to 2000 academic publications in all languages and a world-wide map of more than 200 significant circus collections in archives, museums, libraries and resource centres. The references in the bibliography have been collected from the library collections of the Centre national des arts du Cirque (France), the École Nationale de Cirque (Canada) and from more than 100 academic databases all over the world. The international bibliography and its thematic bibliographies will be updated on regular bases.

In addition, CARP offers an overview of links to institutions, networks and other information resources in circus arts. The News & Events page gives information on the latest activities, conference calls and publications.

The Circus Arts Research Platform is an initiative of Centre national des arts du Cirque (FR), Center for Circus Arts Research, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer of the National Circus School in Montreal (CA), Circuscentrum (BE) and CircusInfo Finland (FI) in collaboration with researchers all over the world, for widening the reachability of knowledge regarding academic research in circus arts.

Get Hooked on CARP at circusartsresearchplatform.com/

The Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw (PL) maintains a regularly updated catalogues of theatres, theatre institutions, schools, periodicals, as well as festivals in Poland. The first one is available at: http://www.e-teatr.pl/pl/instytucje/lista.html, the second at: http://www.e-teatr.pl/pl/festiwale/lista.html

In the Theatre Documentation Department in the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, several databases are being created:

  • Personal Database includes information about 75,000 people (actors, dancers, singers, directors, choreographers, set designers, composers etc.) connected with Polish drama, puppet, musical and alternative theatre: http://www.e-teatr.pl/pl/osoby/lista.html
  • Performance Database contains information about stagings of all kinds of plays on all theatre stages in Poland, mainly after 1944. It consists of over 50,000 records. Each record contains detailed data: the date and venue of the premiere, the names of all the creators (from directors to assistants) and the full cast. The  base is still being expanded and completed with digitalised documentation materials, such as a poster and/or playbill in the form of an image, scans of photographs, fragments of films, a theatre programme in PDF format, and reviews transformed into a text file: http://www.e-teatr.pl/pl/realizacje/lista.html
  • Multimedia Database catalogue includes over 2,000 recordings of performances and other film materials connected with the theatre that are in the collection of the Multimedia Library of the Institute: http://www.e-teatr.pl/pl/multimedia/lista.html

CircusInfo Finland maintains an online database (Sirkka) containing data on Finnish circus companies, artists and shows. You can search the database looking for e.g. jugglers or circus teachers listed. The Sirkka database was opened on the website of CircusInfo Finland in 2008. Circus professionals can update the data themselves, both in Finnish and in English. The database is linked with the performance calendar and the Shows and Artsis section on CircusInfo Finland’s site.

The database is available at sirkusinfo.fi/en/circus-in-finland/sirkka-database/


Virtual Study

The Virtual Study (ViS), which is operated by the Arts and Theatre Institute, is a comprehensive interface for accessing all of the Institute’s information databases. The study’s objective is to facilitate research, increase the informational value of database materials through their joint and interlinked publication, to provide access to materials that would otherwise be inaccessible or accessible only to a limited extent (negatives and slides from the photographic and scenographic archives), and, last but not least, to protect original materials that would be damaged by regular use.

Theatre Photographs
The ATI’s collection of theatre photographs is accessible in digitised format. The collection was digitised as part of the project ‘Preserving and Presenting the Cultural Heritage of Czech and World Theatre’, which was partly funded by a grant from Norway through the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. The database provides access to scans of positives and negatives. The collection, which also includes digital photographs, contains more than 200,000 items.
Database administrators: Michal Šanda, michal.sanda(at)divadlo.cz and Denisa Šťastná, denisa.stastna(at)divadlo.cz.

The ATI’s scenographic collection of objects and archival documents related primarily to theatre in the Czech Republic is accessible in digitised format. The database contains information on the scenographic collection and on the digitised collection of scenographic documents. The scenography database contains more than 21,000 items.
Database administrator: Denisa Šťastná, denisa.stastna(at)divadlo.cz.

This systematically compiled database contains records on Czech theatre productions going back to 1945. The database also serves as a catalogue of the ATI’s documents collection, which includes invitations, promotional materials, programmes, and clippings of newspaper articles and reviews. The productions database contains over 40,000 items.
Database administrator: Zuzana Jindrová, zuzana.jindrova(at)divadlo.cz

Theatre Events
The Theatre Events database contains basic information on theatre festivals, theatre companies’ tours abroad, visits to the Czech Republic by foreign theatre companies, exhibitions and permanent exhibits on theatre, theatre awards, and other theatre-related events (e.g. lectures, talks, workshops). The database of events contains approximately 8,000 items.
Database administrator: Radka Petrmichlová, radka.petrmichlova(at)divadlo.cz.



All catalogues can be accessed via Virtual Study (http://vis.idu.cz)

This is the catalogue of the Theatre Institute’s library, whose mission is to collect, process, store and provide access to all Czech (and select foreign) theatre literature and periodicals. Online access also includes reader account administration with the option of extending loans or reserving available documents. Digitised documents are available through the Kramerius digital library (publications published before 1900 are available online).
Database administrator: Alena Součková, alena.souckova(at)divadlo.cz

Audio Library
The catalogue of the Theatre Institute’s audio library containing audio recordings of spoken word, operas, operettas, musical melodramas, musicals, stage music, and ballet. Researchers may access the actual recordings at the Institute’s offices.
Database administrator: Milan Černý, milan.cerny(at)divadlo.cz

Video Library
The catalogue of the Theatre Institute’s video library contains audiovisual recordings of drama, opera, ballet and alternative productions, as well as documents and portraits of key people in the field of theatre. Recordings are stored on DVD and are being gradually converted into compressed mpeg4 format. Researchers may access the recordings at the Institute’s offices. The video library’s collection contains almost 10,000 entries.
Database administrator: Andrea Landovská, andrea.landovska(at)divadlo.cz.

The theatre bibliography contains articles on theatre in the Czech Republic and abroad published in newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and online magazines and websites in the Czech Republic. The bibliography also includes all Czech-related articles and selected articles on theatre abroad printed in selected magazines published outside the Czech Republic. The database, which is the successor to the earlier theatre bibliography card catalogue, has been systematically compiled since 1995 and contains more than 270,000 bibliographic records. Theatre journals are retroactively processed to their full extent.
Database administrator: Vladimír Hajšman, vladimir.hajsman(at)divadlo.cz

There is also a historical card catalogue bibliography for 1851-1989. The catalogue was digitised and is operated by a specialised division of the Institute for Czech Literature at the Czech Academy of Sciences.

A regularly updated directory of theatres, festivals, theatre institutions, schools, periodicals and organisations is available at: http://www.theatre.cz/czech-theatre-directory.

The Arts and Theatre Institute maintains a regularly updated database of theatre festivals in the Czech Republic (http://www.theatre.cz/festivals-in-czech-republic). Via Virtual Study it provides access to information on festivals in the Czech Republic since 1945 (http://vis.idu.cz/Events.aspx).

Tanka – the Finnish Dance Database contains information about Finnish dance works, artists and companies.

The database was published in 2000. It is updated regularly and contains thousands of entries.



The VTi performing arts database contains data on professional stage productions which involved producers in Flanders or Brussels. It is actively maintained by VTi.

What productions were put on by professional artists? Which artists and organisations deserve the credits for these? What documents remain about these productions?

Each production is represented as a record in the database containing the following information: production (title, date of première, season), international touring dates, cast, producers and co-producers and genre. For every organisation, producer or co-producer, there is additional information about festivals, government grants, venues & working spaces, etc. Every person is also represented as a record with information about e.g. training, and also pointing to their productions. Moreover, our specialized library and archival collections are presented and linked to the many records about people, organisations and productions: photo and video, press cuttings, books and periodicals, archival documents and ephemera.

The database is publicly available at http://data.vti.be