The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Posts by Andy Leach

At the Library and Archives: Roy Orbison’s Final Interview

Friday, May 31: 12 p.m.
Posted by Andy Leach
Roy Orbison's last performance on December 4, 1988 / photo by Janet Macoska

For the past year and a half, the staff of the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives has been working to digitally preserve and catalog thousands of hours of footage of performances, interviews, education programs, oral histories and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies that have taken place over the past few decades. Making this footage and other resources available to researchers and music fans for the first time is one of the things that already makes our jobs exciting, but one recent donation really captured my interest.

It was the original VHS cassette containing the very last interview with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Roy Orbison ever recorded. The interview was done at the Front Row Theater in Highland Heights, Ohio, after Orbison’s final show on December 4, 1988, and this was the tape that was there in the room while the interview took place. It was recently donated by Tony Weber, who conducted the interview for his public access television show that ran from 1987 to 1989. Some low-quality dubs of the footage (likely captured from the television broadcast) can be seen on YouTube, but this is the original tape, so it is ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Library and Archives, Exclusive Interviews

The Rock Hall's Library and Archives: Our First Year

Friday, February 1: 3 p.m.
Posted by Andy Leach
Rock Hall director of Library and Archives Andy Leach at the L&A's information desk

It’s hard to believe the Rock Hall’s new Library and Archives has already been open for a year. Ever since we first opened our doors to the public in January 2012, visitors of all kinds have been steadily flowing in to use our resources for their research and to expand their knowledge of rock and roll and its history.

During 2012, the Library and Archives welcomed nearly 4,000 visitors, many of whom conducted research using one-of-a-kind archival materials in our Archives Reading Room. Our visitors included scholars from around the country, students and teachers from local colleges and universities, authors, documentarians and music fans. The Library and Archives staff also handled more than 800 reference queries, most of which arrived via phone and e-mail.

Many notable people visited the Library and Archives during our first year, including Hall of Fame Inductees Ron Wood, Kenney Jones, and Ian McLagan of the Faces, Chuck Berry, Tom Constanten (Grateful Dead), and Glyn Johns; music writer Peter Guralnick; scholars Craig Werner, David Brackett, and Andy Flory; former National Endowment for the Arts Chairman John Frohnmeyer; Govinda Gallery founder and director Chris Murray; Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux; and Hank LoConti, owner ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Event, Hall of Fame, Education, Austin City Limits, Library and Archives

Chuck Berry at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives

Tuesday, November 6: 5:21 p.m.
Posted by Andy Leach
Chuck Berry and his wife Themetta visit the Rock Hall's Library and Archives on October 27, 2012

On Saturday, October 27, we were truly honored when Hall of Fame Inductee and 2012 American Music Masters honoree Chuck Berry – along with his family, band members, and friends – paid a visit to the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives. After I gave them a brief overview of the Library and Archives and a quick tour of our Library Reading Room, Berry and his group spent time viewing the materials in our Chuck Berry archival exhibit, which was curated by our head archivist Jennie Thomas. Next, the Rock Hall's curatorial director Howard Kramer and I led the group into our Archives Reading Room, where I had pulled out a number of materials from our collections in advance of the group’s visit.

These materials included posters from 1950s rock and roll shows featuring Berry himself, as well as legendary performers such as Big Joe Turner, Muddy Waters, and Elmore James; photographs of Louis Jordan from various archival collections; recording session logs from the Milt Gabler Papers; our collection of Big Joe Turner’s personal papers, which includes letters, passports and photographs; 78-rpm records of the Nat King Cole Trio and the Benny Goodman Sextet (the latter featuring one ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Library and Archives, Education, Exhibit

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 ...


continue Categories: Library and Archives

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 ...


continue Categories: Library and Archives
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