When the Deed of Settlement or instrument by which the Seaborn Broughton and Walford [SBW] Foundation was executed on the 9th October, 1986, Dr Rodney Seaborn AO, OBE, the Founding director and President, wisely ensured that the scope of the Foundation’s mandate included as a statement of the objects of the Foundation, the words “for the purposes generally of encouraging and promoting performing arts within Australia.”
The scope of the archival and library collections of the SBW Foundation are defined in such broad terms as to comprehend practically all aspects of the history and development of theatre and the performing arts generally in Australia, so that there is literally no aspect of the subject scope of the Archives and Library which does not touch, to a greater or less extent, upon the history of the theatrical and performing arts in Australia.
The scope of the Foundation’s collections embrace drama, opera, dance, ballet, mime, music, puppetry and all other forms and facets of the performing arts and other arts in Australia including the plastic arts in so far as they may relate to the performing arts in all their expressions, forms and media (that is, the arts of shaping or modelling, carving and sculpture).
In addition to its responsibility for preserving historical records on Australian theatre, an important long-term object of the Foundation, in keeping with its charter, is to expand its existing collections to include both archival and bibliographic resources for historical research on painting, sculpture, craft work, community and ethnic arts and languages, radio, films, television and literature.
The SBW Foundation Archives, Library and Performing Arts collections fulfil an important role in supporting and sustaining the Foundation’s aims of promoting education and research in the performing arts in Australia and overseas with the aim of developing the performing arts in Australia. The Foundation’s archival and library collections are available for the use of students, scholars and teachers involved in training for the performing arts throughout Australia.
The Foundation also has a responsibility, by facilitating and encouraging access to its archival and library resources, to publish and promote in any media and otherwise support the dissemination by all means and media, knowledge and information concerning the performing arts and Australian performing artists and arts organisations in particular.