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Library and Archives :: Blog

Rock Hall’s Library Director Talks about the New Library and Archives

Thursday, October 22: 4:18 p.m.
Posted by Andy Leach
The Library and Archives will open in downtown Cleveland in 2010.

The Rock Hall's Library Director Andy Leach

 

We’re happy to report that construction of the Rock Hall’s new Library and Archives is complete!  Once our shelving, furniture, and workstations are installed in the next month or so, we’ll move our small but growing staff into the new 22,500-square-foot facility.  Soon thereafter, we’ll also transfer our existing library and archival collections from offsite storage and begin the hard work of cataloging, processing, and preserving these materials for future generations.

Our plan is that the Library and Archives will be the world’s preeminent research collection of written and audiovisual materials relating to the history of rock and roll.  Its collections will include books, dissertations, periodicals, sound and video recordings, and thousands of boxes of archival materials (including personal papers, correspondence, photographs, song manuscripts, business records, contracts, press kits, posters, flyers, and clippings).  Eventually, we’ll also establish in-house labs for the digital preservation and conservation of these materials.

We plan to open the doors of the Library and Archives in late 2010, and we’ll provide access to our materials for scholars, educators, students, journalists, and the general public.  We hope to see you then!  In the meantime, stay tuned here for further ...


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What's Happening at the Library and Archives

Thursday, March 4: 4:56 p.m.
Posted by Andy Leach

Andy Leach, director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Library and Archives, gives a behind the scenes look at the Library and Archives in downtown Cleveland.

Things are coming along at the Library and Archives. Our staff moved into our brand new facility in December, and since then, we’ve transferred about a third of our materials from offsite storage and have begun processing these collections in order to make them accessible to the public someday. We’re also in the midst of determining our needs for online systems and data storage and planning our in-house digitization and conversation labs for the long-term preservation of our collections. Behind the scenes, making all of this happen is a very talented and hard-working group of employees, interns, and volunteers. As we continue to interview job candidates and fill new positions, it is increasingly clear to me that by the time we open our doors to the public in late 2010, our Library and Archives will be staffed by a first-class group of music librarians and archivists.

Equally outstanding are the archival collections that our Library and Archives will house. A few weeks ago, our Archivist Jennie Thomas and I ...


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Support the Rock Hall for SXSW 2012!

Monday, August 22: 11:59 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Now in its 26th year, the SXSW Music and Media Conference has grown into the must-attend networking event for the 21st century music industry. Showcasing nearly 2,000 musical acts from around the globe at over 80 stages in downtown Austin, SXSW registrants have a first-look at tomorrow's stars.

Conference registrants also partake in a full agenda of provocative, informative panel discussions and celebrity interviews featuring hundreds of speakers of international stature. Once again, the Rock Hall submitted a panel idea for the SXSW Music Festival (March 13-18, 2012). Our music panel idea – New Digs: A Rock and Roll Library and Archives – has been submitted to the Panel Picker, but now needs your vote to move forward!

New Digs: A Rock and Roll Library and Archives panel description: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's new Library and Archives will be the world's most comprehensive repository of written and audiovisual materials relating to the history of rock and roll. The Library and Archives collects, preserves, and will provide access to these resources in order to educate people about rock and roll, its roots, and its impact on society. In early 2012, the Library and Archives ...


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The Library and Archives Opens Today

Tuesday, January 17: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Andy Leach, director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Library and Archives

Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened the world’s largest library and archives devoted to rock and roll music. The Library and Archives is located in downtown Cleveland at the Center for Creative Arts on Cuyahoga Community College’s (Tri-C) Metropolitan Campus. The state-of-the-art structure is where library and archives professionals collect, preserve and provide access to primary and secondary resources relating to rock and roll history. A grand opening dedication will take place during the week of the 2012 Induction Ceremony on Monday, April 9. 


Upon opening, students and music scholars were eager to explore the 22,500-square-foot Library and Archives' repository of materials relating to the history of rock and roll, including vast collections of books, periodicals, and commercial audio and video recordings, as well as hundreds of archival collections containing personal papers, business records, photographs, posters, audio and video materials. In keeping with the mixed-media content available, 11 multimedia workstations allow users to view and listen to recorded material and to conduct online research. 

Visiting researchers now have access to never-before-seen materials, including the archival collections of some of popular music’s most significant figures, including Alan Freed, Clive Davis, Ahmet ...


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Austin City Limits Performance Collection Comes to Library and Archives

Thursday, June 21: 3:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Neil Young is among the hundreds of artists who've performed live on Austin City Limits

Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced a partnership with KLRU-TV, Austin PBS to make nearly 40 years of Austin City Limits performances available to the public for the first time. The announcement came from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum president and CEO Terry Stewart and Austin City Limits executive producer Terry Lickona, who shared the mic at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Landmark KLRU Studio 6A, where Austin City Limits had been filmed for 36 years (since 2011, it has broadcast from the ACL Live at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin). “Austin City Limits uniquely represents more than three decades of some of modern music’s most significant artists and their performances — from iconic musicians to cutting-edge talent,” said Stewart. “It’s one of the most significant archives that documents the American culture and Austin City Limits shares our mission of celebrating and interpreting popular music’s impact on our world.”

The unprecedented collection features more than 800 performances from 1975 to 2012, including memorable shows from dozens of Hall of Fame inductees, including Ruth Brown, Jackson Browne, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Dr. John, Etta James, B.B ...


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Jane Scott Collection Arrives at the Rock Hall Library and Archives

Thursday, August 9: 5 p.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
Beginning to sort the Jane Scott papers at the Rock Hall Library and Archives

Recently, the Library and Archives acquired the collection of Cleveland’s own Jane Scott, which includes items accumulated over the course of Scott’s long career as the first rock critic at a daily newspaper: interview notebooks, autographs, personal and promotional photographs, handbills, tour books, concert programs, sheet music, scrapbooks, posters, set lists, press passes, buttons, books, magazines, newspapers, fanzines, LPs, 45s, audiocassettes, CDs, videocassettes, DVDs, correspondence, artist press kits and newspaper clippings.

Packing up all the materials from her apartment and moving them to the Library and Archives took nearly five hours, with the guidance of Scott’s estate attorney and myself, and the assistance of four professionals from local Wood-Lee International Art Handler. The estate attorney had much of the material sorted by type of material in advance of our visit, which made the entire enterprise go more smoothly.

Often when archivists are asked to do this type of work, there are few bodies to assist and even less organization, so it was refreshing to come into this environment where not only had some level of organization been accomplished for us — filing cabinets emptied into cartons and a closet full of clippings and other documents sorted and ...


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Interview with James Brown Biographer RJ Smith

Monday, August 27: 11 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Author RJ Smith discusses 1986 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee James Brown

After presenting at the Rock Hall Library and Archives in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 23, 2012, RJ Smith, author of The One: The Life and Music of James Brown, visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where he discussed discoveries made while researching The One and how James Brown influenced many rock and roll musicians, including the Rolling Stones and the Who. Here, RJ Smith talks with the Rock Hall in the Museum's Cities and Sounds exhibit, in front of the "Respect – the Sound of Soul" display containing, among other artifacts, James Brown's "Sex" jumpsuit, which he wore on stage during the 1970s.


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Growing the Northeast Ohio Popular Music Archives

Friday, August 31: 11 a.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
Master tapes of Cleveland punk legends the Dead Boys are part of the NEOPMA

Earlier this month, myself, the Grateful Dead archivist Nicholas Meriwether (who contributed to the Rock Hall's Grateful Dead: the Long, Strange Trip exhibit and wrote about the Dead's "best performance") and nine other archivists from a wide array of archival institutions presented at the Society of American Archivists’ annual meeting in San Diego.

Founded in 1936, the Society of American Archivists is North America's oldest and largest national archival professional association. SAA's mission is to serve the educational and informational needs of more than 5,500 individual and institutional members and to provide leadership to ensure the identification, preservation and use of records of historical value.

Archivists from The Pennsylvania State University; McDonald’s Corporation; Harley Davidson Motor Company; University of Alabama Rare Books and Special Collections; The Coca-Cola Company; ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives; Microsoft Corporation; American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming; the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center; the Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California, Santa Cruz; and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Library and Archives, gathered to each give a 5-minute talk about archival advocacy in their institutions and dialogue with each ...


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