FOLK ARTS & CULTURE: Archival Collections
Hip Hop Archives
The Origins of Hip Hop
In 2001, the New York Folklore Society and the Brooklyn-based Urban Think Tank embarked on a collaborative project documenting Hip Hop.
The Community Scholars at Urban Think Tank (UTT), a “nonpartisan, community-based home for a body of thinkers in the Hip Hop generation” identified collections important to the development of Hip Hop culture. Vee Bravo, Yvonne Bynoe, and Chic Smith of the UTT recognized the need to document this material, provide access to it, and preserve it for the future.
UTT Community Scholars interviewed collection holders, and archivist Nancy Johnson produced a narrative summary of each collection, and a MARC record.
The UTT identified eighteen significant collections of documentation in varied formats: commercial and homemade sound recordings in many different media; photographs, some professionally shot, some amateur, documenting people, fashions, breakdancing contests, subway art; sketchbooks; flyers and posters; interviews; even clothing.
The collection summaries are available here:
READ Archivist Nancy Johnsons article, “Documenting the New: Hip Hop as Archives,” about this project in VOICES, the membership magazine of the New York Folklore Society.
READ the interview with photographer Martha Cooper about her book The Hip Hop Files: