The Association of Performing Arts Collections (APAC) is the membership organisation for professionals and specialists working in performing arts collections in the United Kingdom and Ireland. APAC provides a forum for the exchange and dissemination of information, expertise and best practice, enabling collaboration and assisting members to develop their skills. APAC promotes the value of its members’ collections, encouraging wider use and increasing public awareness of the need to preserve such collections for the future.
APAC’s members include the institutions responsible for most of the UK’s performing arts heritage: public museums, libraries, and archives; archives of theatres and companies; college and university archives and libraries. Performing arts organisations and interested individuals are also active members.
Founded in 1979 as the Theatre Information Group London, APAC became the UK’s Subject Specialist Network for performing arts in 2005. It has received Subject Specialist Network funding from Arts Council England and from the UK’s Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.
APAC offers joint membership with SIBMAS, the International Association of Libraries, Museums, Archives, and Documentation Centres of the Performing Arts.
APAC’s vision is to be recognised as the leading membership body for the performing arts heritage community in the UK and Ireland, giving members a voice and inspiring the widest possible participation in the enrichment of all performing arts heritage collections.
APAC offers regular meetings at which members discuss issues, share ideas, and exchange knowledge. Tours and guest speakers are features of APAC member meetings, which take place at a different institution each time. All members receive the minutes of these meetings.
Study days and symposia are aimed at updating and extending members’ knowledge and skills. Past APAC events have addressed areas as diverse as partnerships, users, volunteers, costumes, photographs, theatrical prints, oral history, and audio-visual materials.
APAC’s email discussion forum allows members to seek advice, share best practice, publicise activities, pass on enquiries, and advertise vacancies. Members can also take advantage of APAC’s social media outlets.
APAC convenes working groups on topics of interest to members (for example, digital preservation) and facilitates collaborative projects. More activities open to members are outlined on the member benefits page.