gathered has been used in carrying out the second project: an inventory of published materials relating to Dada currently housed in the University Libraries, and a systematic program for acquiring the material which the libraries do not yet own. Unfortunately, the faith of these Berlin Dadaists in the avant-gardes role in the German revolution was as mistaken as that of the Russian avant-garde in the new Bolshevik regime at about the same time. For decades afterwards, the founders disagreed as violentlyor as gleefullyabout the meaning of the word as about the manner of its discovery.) The evenings at the cabaret, prototypes for Dada performances throughout Europe, combined presentations of the art, drama, and poetry of the different avant-gardes. Several tools have been developed to provide control of and access to the holdings of the International Dada Archive. The record of an art which values action over stability, the moment of interaction or confrontation between artist and public over the eternity of a published poem or an artwork in a museum, is in danger of disappearing forever.
In Paris, meanwhile, Tristan Tzara served an emissary role similar to that of Huelsenbeck in Berlin. Furthermore, in preparing the Dada Artifacts exhibition, it had been learned that the Special Collections Department of the University Libraries already has extensive holdings of rare items from the Dada period, including many of the highly ephemeral periodicals such as Dada, Litt rature, and Merz.
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Until now, the greatest strength of the collection has been in manuscripts of the German Dadaistsprecisely that area for which the available documentation has been the scantiest, in large part because of the ravages of the Second World War. But its participants have continued to exert a profound influence on the arts in America and France down to the present time. Unfortunately, with the death of Professor Michel Benamou, the director of the center in Milwaukee, it became impossible to establish the archive there. Once funds are available for retrospective conversion of the card catalog, an online catalog will be made available over the Internet. A variety of leftist factions battled the forces of the still unstable Weimar Republic. Known as the International Online Bibliography of Dada, the online catalog currently includes approximately thirty percent of the titles in the Archives card catalog. (The most popular version of the story is that the word was picked at random from a French-German dictionary. It is in these terms that their success must be measured; and success, for a time, they had. This coming together of the old clan marks the beginning of a surge of interest in the movement which had been largely forgotten even though its influence was present everywhere. Their journals would appear for one or two numbers, hastily distributed to outrace the censors, and once banned by the authorities, reappear under new titles. Its proponents came from all parts of Europe and the United States at a time when their native countries were battling one another in the deadliest war ever known.
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