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 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!
If you're onsite at the Museum or Library & Archives, please use this link to get to the online catalog.
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.
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.
These websites list additional libraries, archives, and research centers with popular music collections available to scholars.
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:
Still not finding what you need? Contact the repository that seems most likely to hold what you need, and ask an archivist or librarian! Collections may not be processed, but you may still be able to gain access to them for your research; and if that repository doesn't have what you need, the staff may be able to point you in the right direction for your primary and secondary resource needs.
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 and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum | Library and Archives
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