Reference Code: IE 2135 N48

Title: The Barbara Clarke Papers

Dates of Creation: 1943-1995

Level of Description: Fonds

Extent and Medium: 39 items (39 files)



Name of Creator(s): Clarke, Barbara (1938-2007).

Biographical History: Barbara Clarke was born in Dublin in 1938.  She started dancing at the age of 4 at the Burchill School of Dancing on St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, where she studied both ballet and tap.  Her first stage appearance was in the Burchill School of Dancing Recital at the Gaiety Theatre in 1943 at the age of five.  From the very beginning, she showed exceptional talent and enthusiasm, and steadily built up her skills by undertaking dance and teaching qualifications.  As she progressed, she began to help Miss Burchill with the younger classes and continued to participate in the school’s regular recitals at the Gaiety Theatre.  As there was no full-time work for dancers in Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s, Barbara trained as secretary at Alexandra College, Dublin, and worked in that capacity for a firm of stockbrokers in the city.  She dedicated her spare time to dance, both as a performer and a choreo­grapher, and gained countrywide publicity through her appearances in RTÉ’s popular programme, Shall We Dance?  She continued her involvement in the art form until 1992, when a stroke called a halt to her active dancing career.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: The collection was donated by Barbara Clarke’s brother, Gordon Clarke, to the National Dance Archive of Ireland on 8 February 2012. 




Scope and Content: Photographs, certificates, contracts, and correspondence illustrating Barbara Clarke’s development from a child dance enthusiast to an accomplished amateur dancer, and her contribution to the development of dance as a popular art form in Ireland in the mid-twentieth century.

Appraisal, Destruction and Scheduling Information: All records have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are unlikely.

System of Arrangement: Documents have been divided into three series according to their form, and thereunder arranged chronologically by date.




Conditions Governing Access: Unrestricted access to all items.

Conditions Governing Reproduction: Standard copyright regulations apply to all items.  For photocopying or reproducing material, please consult with the staff.

Language/ Scripts of Material: English; one item in Irish.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements: Paper documents and DVDs in good condition.  Items N48/1/4-5 require a PC or laptop and software capable of opening JPEG, PDF, and Word files.

Finding Aids: A hard copy of the descriptive catalogue is available at the Special Collections and Archives Department, Glucksman Library, University of Limerick.




Existence and Location of Originals: The originals of N48/6-39 have been retained by the donor.

Related Units of Description: Film footage of an early Burchill School of Dancing recital at the Gaiety Theatre is lodged in the Norman Hodgson Collection in the RTÉ Archives.




Archivist’s Note: Papers arranged and described by Anna-Maria Hajba.

Rules or Conventions: This description follows guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd edition, 2000; Irish Guidelines for Archival Description, 2009; National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997; and EAP Guidance on Data Protection for Archive Services, 2018.

Date of Description: February 2012.  Revised October 2020.


© Copyright 2020 Special Collections Library, University of Limerick