The Association of Performing Arts Collections (APAC) is the membership organisation for professionals, specialists, and other individuals working with or interested in performing arts heritage in the United Kingdom and Ireland. APAC works towards these main objectives:
- To advance the performing arts heritage community in the UK and Ireland and advocate the widest possible engagement in performing arts heritage collections by the general public
- To promote the value of its members’ collections and increasing public awareness of the need to preserve such collections for the future
- To provide a forum for the exchange and dissemination of information, expertise and best practice in performing arts collections and heritage organisations in the UK and Ireland
- To enable collaboration between members and non-members by assisting with the development of skills in documenting and promoting the performing arts to enable greater access to all potential users.
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 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.
APAC events such study days and symposia are aimed at updating and extending knowledge and skills. Past events have addressed areas as diverse as partnerships, collection users, volunteers, costumes, photographs, oral history, and audio-visual materials. Free to members, APAC events also are open to any interested individuals, such as researchers, students, family historians, and subject enthusiasts.
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 to broaden the reach of their work to new audiences.
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.