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Popular Music Research: Repositories

Why Popular Music Archives?

"The importance of the archive cannot be overstated, especially for musicians and audiences who do not claim the media spotlight, or who might be vulnerable to misrepresentation. Archives are not just places people go for information; they can and do change our approach to, and determine the questions we ask of, music, the music industry and musical scenes." -- George Washington University Professor Gayle Wald, 2013

Search for Archival Materials

Search through the Rock Hall's archival collections here, including photographs, manuscripts, business records, posters, handbills, recordings, and much more from performers, bands, record label executives, recording studios, and the fans themselves!

Search for Library Materials

Search here for books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs in the Rock Hall collections. This will take you to the WorldCat online catalog and allow you to locate resources both in our library and libraries near you.

Archival Collections Databases

These databases and listings provide descriptions for over two million collections of primary source material housed in thousands of repositories across the United States and around the world.

Additional Repositories & Collections

These websites list additional libraries, archives, and research centers with popular music collections available to scholars.

How to Find Archival Repositories & Collections

In addition to using the list of archival repositories and collections here, use the following strategies to search for primary source materials appropriate for your research:

  • Consult bibliographies and cited works in books and articles on your topic. Where did those authors get their information?
  • Contact other experts in your field. What repositories did they visit to do their research?
  • Review websites on your topic. Do they list any archives, historical societies, libraries, museums, or special collections?
  • Search databases like ArchiveGrid and Archive Finder to help you locate archival repositories and collections.
  • Utilize search engines like Google, but realize the above strategies are more likely to help you pinpoint exact collections.

Archival Repositories & Collections

This is an annotated list of archival collections and repositories that may be of use in your popular music research. Please note this is not a comprehensive list, and we have also supplied you with links to search for additional collections and repositories that may be a better fit for your information needs.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame | Library & Archives
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