Special thanks to a colleague for bringing this article that was published on the National Public Radio blog The Record to my attention.
If you don’t read the whole article, the final quote from Andy Leach, director of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Library & Archives, beautifully explains not just the value of music archives, but of all archives:
“Because music is something that plays such a major role in the everyday lives of so many of us, it’s one of those rare subjects that is both worthy of academic study and that almost every ordinary person cares about,” Leach continued. “So, that gives us an opportunity here … to promote the idea that these unique and rare materials are here for everyone to use, both to expand their knowledge and from which to gain pleasure. And that’s a good lesson to learn about the importance of archives in general.”
The Ohio Historical Society Archives/Library also collects different genres of music created by Ohioans. We look for materials that are rare and in good physical condition.
Examples of folk, jazz and popular music found in our collections includes records by the Mills Brothers, Rosemary Clooney, Mamie Smith, Roy Rogers, DEVO and an extensive collection of folk music recorded by dulcimer player and musicologist Anne Grimes. We also have recordings of the popular WLW radio show “Moon River” that aired in the 1940s. The Society faces similar financial challenges to the repositories discussed in the article. Funds to maintain equipment to play sound recordings and to make digitized copies of recording for access are limited.
What are your favorite music memories?
Are there musicians or musical groups from Ohio that the Society should consider for our collections?
L. Wood, Curator for Visual Resources