Dance Books Available Locally

originally compiled by David Kirchner

This was an attempt to list all of the books related to contra and square dancing available within the St. Louis area, compiled by David Kirchner in the 90s. He most recently revised it on July 2, 1998. Martha Edwards discovered it somewhat abandoned on the FolkFire website and copied it back to the Childgrove web site, where it had started under David over twenty years earlier, and began to update it again on February 6, 2017. She has promised to add numerous books which she has acquired over the years from generous dancers to the list.

Deborah Hyland also has a goodly number of books on dancing which she is willing to lend out - here are some of the books:

The Beneficial Tradition lending library (Deborah Hyland)

David's original list was compiled mostly from computer searches and should not necessarily be considered complete (and he offers no guarantees that any of these books are where they are supposed to be). Web links for libraries are at the end of the list.

An amazing online resource is An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals ca.1490-1920 from the Library of Congress. It contains full text and illustrations for some two hundred books and pamphlets about social dancing published during that time period.

Another good source of information is the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), which, in addition to the large number of books it has for sale, also has the CDSS online library.


Beneficial Tradition lending library (ask Deborah Hyland)
Childgrove Country Dancers lending library (ask Martha Edwards)
Fontbonne College Library
Kirkwood Public Library
Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville) Library
St. Louis County Library
St. Louis Public Library
St. Louis University Libraries
University City Public Library
University of Missouri (St. Louis) Libraries
Washington University Libraries
Webster Groves Public Library
Webster University Libraries