Naseem Khan Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains published books relating to South Asian classical dance, including books on dance, art, aesthetics, and music from the Asian sub-continent.

It also contains programmes from the following conferences:

  • "New directions in Indian dance", Toronto, Canada, 1993
  • "Navadisha", Birmingham, 2000

Administrative / Biographical History

Naseem Khan was born in 1939 to an Indian father, Abdul Wasi Khan, and a German mother, Gerda Khan (née Kilbinger). Her early childhood was spent in Worcestershire. She studied at Roedean School, East Sussex, and then at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, gaining an MA in English.

She has an interest in the arts, theatre and dance. She was part of a touring Indian dance troupe in the 1970s and has also worked as a dance critic, particularly for Indian dance.

Naseem Khan has worked as a journalist, writer and editor. This has included working as theatre editor at "Time Out" magazine; helping to launch "The Hustler", a newspaper for the black community in Notting Hill, London; working as an editor for publishers Faber and Faber; and working as a regular contributor to the "Guardian", "Independent" and "New Statesman" publications.

Aside from being a writer, Naseem Khan has also worked as a researcher and policy advisor, specialising in the subject of diversity innovation and social change. In 1976, at the request of the Arts Council of Great Britain, she published a report, "The Arts Britain Ignores", which looked into cultural work in ethnic minority communities. She has worked with several international working parties, has contributed to and chaired conferences, and has given training courses in managing cultural diversity. From 1987 to 1990 she was a Senior Associate with the consultancy Comedia, consulting on arts and cultural diversity. From the 1996 until 2003 she was the Head of Cultural Diversity Unit at Arts Council England. From 2006 onwards she has run her own consultancy company, Khan Consulting, again consulting on arts and cultural diversity.

Naseem Khan lived in Hampstead, London, for 25 years. She and her husband had two children: George and Amelia. Upon her split from her husband she went to live in London's East End. Here in 2004 she became the chair of a new local community charity, the Friends of Arnold Circus, and remained the chair of that charity until 2010. She has since worked on other community, arts and social change projects.

In 1993, Naseem Khan was recognised as one of the Women of the Decade in the Arts. She was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1999.

Access Information

This collection is open for access, and can be viewed without an appointment at any time during the archive opening hours.

Opening times: In term time, the Archives and Special Collections are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – 10am - 4pm. Outside term time the Archives and Special Collections are open by appointment only.

Appointments can be made by contacting the archivist using any of the methods below:


Telephone: 020 8392 3323

Postal address: Archives and Special Collections, Library and Learning Services, University of Roehampton, Roehampton Lane, London, SW15 5SZ.

The Archives and Special Collections are located on the fourth floor of the University Library.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Naseem Khan in 2015.

Archivist's Note

Description created in June 2015

Custodial History

The books were collected by Naseem Khan while she worked as a dance critic.

Related Material

Further collections relating to dance that are held by Archives and Special Collections at the University of Roehampton include:

  • The Monica Collingwood Collection, containing scrapbooks, photograph albums, programmes and other material relating to ballet in the 20th Century, collected by Monica Collingwood, a lifetime ballet fan. See reference code: MC
  • The Ann Hutchinson Guest Collection, containing records relating to the Language of Dance Centre, London (founded by Ann Hutchinson Guest) and dance notation. See reference code: AHG