DC Punk Archive
Preservation & Access | How to Donate
DC Music Archive -- Future Plans | Related Collections | Special Thanks
In support of the Washingtoniana mission to collect, preserve and provide access to primary source materials that document the history and culture of local D.C., we have established a DC Punk Archive in DC Public Library’s Special Collections. A year after initiating planning and community outreach, we have received several collection donations, secured grant funding to design an online portal for access to collections, and will further engage the public in the project in October with programming, volunteer training, and an exhibit of highlights from collections we have received so far.
- We've kicked off programming for the DC Punk Archive with a punk show in the MLK Library basement on Oct. 2 with Joy Buttons, Flamers and Hemlines. See below for full program series; enjoy this clip from the show.
- Many new items have recently joined our collection of recordings. Find the complete list in the DC Punk Archive Music Library Current Holdings and Wishlist.
Subject content will not be limited to the music itself, but could include anything pertinent to the cultural context, such as houses, venues, festivals, record shops, radio stations and tours. The subject scope is intentionally broad, punk and related local music 1976-present, in order to capture both well-documented and lesser-known stories.
Collections formed so far:
- Akashic Books Book Collection
- Alec Berry Photograph Collection - photographs of local bands
- Casey Jones Collection - Fort Reno memorabilia from 2000s
- Eddie Janney Collection - Punk ephemera, mostly fliers and posters from 1980s
- Melissa Kelin Collection - LPs and riot grrrl zines
- James Schneider/Punk the Capital Collection - Source material for forthcoming documentary
- Ryan Shepard Collection - 7" records, live recordings, and punk fliers and poster from 1990s
We expect our online local music portal to be an excellent platform for connecting the public with our music collections as well has those of other repositories. Public programming this fall and next summer will raise awareness about the project and engage the public with collected resources and local music.
We're kicking off the grant cycle with a month-long series of programs:
Library Basement Punk Show
Featuring Joy Buttons, Flamers, Hemlines
Sponsored by the DC Public Library Foundation
Oct. 2, 6 p.m. - MLK Library, A-5
Punk Farm Family Fun Day
Music and stories for children and families
Oct. 12, 2 p.m. - Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library
Screening of Jem Cohen's film about Fugazi
Oct. 22, 6:30 p.m. - Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library
Punk Rock Swap Meet
Benefit for DC Punk Archive with DJ sets by Brian Baker (Bad Religion, Dag Nasty, Minor Threat), Brendan Canty (Deathfix, Fugazi, Rites of Spring) and John Davis (Title Tracks, Q and not U)
Oct 28, 9pm - The Passenger/Warehouse Theater, 1021 7th Street, NW
More Than A Witness
Robin Bell discusses the making of his documentary about Positive Force
Oct. 30, 7 p.m. - Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library
To donate materials to the collection or for more information, contact:
- Michele Casto, Special Collections Librarian, Washingtoniana, MLK Library
- Bobbie Dougherty, Librarian, Mt. Pleasant Library
While we are actively targeting punk collections at the present, we are also currently accepting donations that document other genres, communities, and time periods of D.C. music. We will expand the ongoing Go-Go collecting project and we are capturing DC Jazz and U Street culture through this oral history project.
Rock music that preceded and followed the heyday of Punk; R&B, Funk and Hip Hop that influenced (was influenced by) Go-Go; the thriving early Bluegrass and Country scene--all of these are important elements that make D.C. a unique and vibrant center for local music and culture, and all will have a home at the library. As we expand out collecting focus we will do so in collaboration and cooperation with other repositories of D.C. music collections.
As a collaboration between the two libraries, we will scan any zines that accompany donations to the DC Punk Archive in Washingtoniana and share them with UMD to help fill gaps in their D.C. Punk and Indie Fanzine Collection, 1979-2012 (unless the donor prefers to donate original zines to UMD).
George Washington University
The university plans to launch a DC Vernacular Music Archive in the fall of 2014, to support academic research in ethnomusicology and as a repository for student project raw materials. As we develop our interactive online local music portal, we will collaborate with these and other institutions to connect all digitized local music resources through one platform.
- James Schneider, who helped catalyze this project by reaching out to collaborate with the library on preservation of D.C. punk materials encountered during the making of the documentary Punk the Capital
- Music community members who have generously offered advice and assistance to the project
- The many who have already offered donations of collections and who have volunteer to assist the project.
Back to Special Collections Homepage