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Rosalind Shaffer Collection Relating to Adolf Bolm

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Shaffer, Rosalind.
Title: Rosalind Shaffer Collection Relating to Adolf Bolm
Inclusive Dates: 1951-2009, undated
Quantity: 0.25 linear ft.
Abstract: Correspondence, notes, photographs relating to the Russian-American ballet dancer, choreographer, director, and teacher.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Adolf Bolm (1884-1951) was a noted choreographer, director and dancer. Born in Russia, his compatriots included Anna Pavlova, Sergei Diaghilev, and Vaslav Nijinsky. He eventually relocated to the United States where he continued to dance, teach, and mentor performers such as Syd (Cyd) Charisse, Rosalind Shaffer de Mille, and Ruth Syndon-Jenkins.

Rosalind Shaffer was a close friend of Adolf Bolm's wife Beatrice for many years; Bolm's son Olaf and Shaffer's son George were good friends as children, and Shaffer's daughter (also named Rosalind) studied ballet with Adolf Bolm. A journalist by profession, Shaffer and Mrs. Bolm compiled notes and research to be used in documenting Bolm's life and contributions to dance. The material passed to her daughter, Rosalind Shaffer de Mille, on Rosalind Shaffer's death in 2008.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Rosalind Shaffer Collection Relating to Adolf Bolm consists of subject files relating to Adolf Bolm. Material includes articles, photographs, correspondence, and notes (both Bolm's and others').

The Marilyn McLeod folder contains material added by the donor, reflecting her early involvement with Olaf and Rosalind, and the project. Included in this folder are a portrait of Adolf and his son Olaf (photocopy), a photograph of Rosalind de Mille standing in front of her portrait at age 17 (photocopy), a photo collage of the Bolm's Sycamore home in Hollywood, and a printout of the Adolf Bolm website's page on "Adolph Bolm and Rosalind Shaffer de Mille."

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Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged alphabetically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

See also the Adolf Bolm Collection. Additional information is available online at the Adolf Bolm website, (Note: the website uses the "Adolph" spelling; in this finding aid we have adhered to the Library of Congress Subject Heading (LCSH) spelling, "Adolf.")

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Subject Headings


Bolm, Adolph, 1894-1951.
Diaghilev, Serge, 1872-1929.
Shaffer, Rosalind.
Stravinsky, Igor, 1882-1971.


Ballet -- History -- 20th century.
Ballet dancers.
Ballet dancing.

Genres and Forms

Notes (documents)
Research notes.


Ballet dancers.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Rosalind Shaffer Collection Relating to Adolf Bolm,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Marilyn McLeod, 2009.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 19 Jan 2010
Revision history:

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Subject files
Box 1 Bertenson, Sergei 1951-1952 - handwritten and typed notes from an interview with Bertenson about Bolm; includes several pages titled "outline on Adolph Bolm biography"
Box 1 Bolm's notes undated - handwritten notes, by Bolm, about his life and career
Box 1 Correspondence, "Liebe Kinder..." 1934 - dated from Riga; possibly from Adolf's parents to Adolf and his wife
Box 1 Diaghilev history undated - handwritten notes by Rosalind Shaffer
Box 1 History, Bolm undated - typed and handwritten notes from Mrs. Bolm and Rosalind Shaffer; includes a timeline of Bolm's life
Box 1 Inventory of Bolm's books undated - four lists, typed and handwritten
Box 1 Marilyn McLeod undated
Box 1 Play script of Ballerina by Lady Eleanor Smith undated

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