The Library and Archives houses library materials on rock and roll and related music genres, such as:
- Books (including histories, biographies, scholarly studies and anthologies of essays), academic dissertations, and reference sources (such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, discographies, and directories).
- Periodicals (both past and current, including scholarly journals, popular magazines, and trade publications).
- Commercial audio recordings (including recordings representing the work of significant rock and roll performers and composers, as well as important recordings covering related music genres, such as blues, gospel, country, R&B, soul, and hip hop).
- Commercial video recordings (including documentaries, concert films, and feature films).
- Research databases (accessible within the Library and Archives facility), including RILM Abstracts of Music Literature, International Index to Music Periodicals Full Text, Music Index, Rock's Backpages, and Oxford Music Online).
The Library and Archives also holds numerous archival collections containing a wide variety of primary source materials, not only paper documents—such as correspondence, manuscripts, transcripts, ephemera, and posters—but also photographic material, sound recordings, films, videotapes, and electronic records. Collections include:
- Personal papers, photographs, and recordings of performers. Paper materials may include correspondence, scrapbooks, journals, song manuscripts, and handwritten drafts of song lyrics.
- Personal papers, writings, and the research of scholars, journalists, and critics who have written about rock and roll and related music genres.
- Personal papers, business records, photographs, and recordings of those connected to the business of rock and roll, including disc jockeys, managers, producers, and record executives. These materials may include financial records, contracts, memoranda, and reports.
- Records of businesses and other organizations, including record labels, management agencies, booking agencies, radio stations, recording studios, and publishing companies. These materials may include financial records, contracts, memoranda, reports, promotional materials, radio playlists, and studio logs.
- Institutional records of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.
- Original audio and video recordings containing never-before-seen content from the Rock Hall's events and education programs, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, the American Music Masters series, the Hall of Fame series, and the Songwriters to Soundmen series.
For more specific information on our available holdings, please consult our catalog.