Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's Why Archives Matter

Friday, November 1: 1:34 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Inside the Rock Hall's Library and Archives

Recently, music journalist Ann Powers wrote a piece for NPR titled "Holding Music History in Your Hands: Why Archives Matter." In it, Powers notes that she's planning "to head next to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library in Cleveland, which has served thousands of visitors – students, scholars and plenty of just-fans – since opening last year." In advance of her visit, she connected with Rock Hall Library and Archives director Andy Leach, who shared a story of one young visitor connecting with the Sex Pistols, in a new way.

"A couple of weeks ago, our head archivist told me a story about a teenage boy who came in with his family," Leach explained. "They were all looking at books and periodicals and watching videos, and the kid asked whether we had his favorite album, the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks, on vinyl. He'd never actually seen a vinyl copy until then, and he was very excited. He very reverentially played the record in our Archives Reading Room while he pored over the album cover. He listened to the entire first side before it was time for his family to leave, at which point he begrudgingly rejoined them!

"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."

Read Ann Powers' entire article on www.npr.org and discover more about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Library and Archives.

 



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