SIBMAS was founded in 1954 as a section of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and became an autonomous association in 1976. SIBMAS gathers individual members working in the field of documentation of the performing arts, and institutions such as libraries, universities and museums specialising in theatre, dance, mime and puppetry. In order to improve the skills and knowledge of its members, SIBMAS works to promote research in the performing arts field and to establish international contacts among specialised libraries, museums and documentation centres. The association also aims at facilitating international exchanges. Every two years, SIBMAS organises an international congress. Its members have the opportunity to collaborate in various projects, such as the publication of the SIBMAS International Directory of Performing Arts Collections, the International Bibliography of Theatre (IBDT) and the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre.