Smithsonian: Foundation Consortium Acquires Historic African American Photographic Archive. “The archive includes more than 4 million prints and negatives comprising the most significant collection of photographs cataloguing African American life in the 20th century. The archive was acquired for $30 million as part of an auction of the assets of JPC in connection with its Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. The foundation consortium will donate the archives to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Getty Research Institute, and other leading cultural institutions for the public benefit to ensure the broadest access for the general public and use by scholars, researchers, journalists, and other interested parties.”
Chicago Tribune: Getty Trust to buy Ebony photo archives for $28.5 million after winning bankruptcy auction. “The J. Paul Getty Trust is buying the historic Ebony photo archives for $28.5 million, after emerging as the top bidder Wednesday in the weeklong Johnson Publishing bankruptcy auction.
New York Times: A Last Look at Ebony’s Archives, Before They’re Sold. “For months, a stream of visitors — curious, cultured and deep-pocketed — have slipped into a drab brick warehouse on the West Side of Chicago. They have been escorted upstairs in a creaky elevator to a windowless room and handed blue gloves to wear. Then they have lingered for hours or days over the most significant collection of photographs depicting African-American life in the 20th century.”
Chicago Sun-Times: Historic Ebony photo archive to be auctioned off to pay creditors . “Emmett Till lying in his coffin. Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife, Coretta Scott King, mourning at her husband’s funeral. Images of those iconic moments along with four million other photographs that capture seven decades of black life in America are set to be auctioned off this week. The historic photo archive of Ebony and Jet is being sold by the magazines’ now-bankrupt former publisher Johnson Publishing Company. The auction, organized by Hilco Streambank, is scheduled for Wednesday in Chicago.”
GRAMMY Museum: GRAMMY Museum® Grant Program Awards $200,000 For Music Research And Sound Preservation. “The GRAMMY Museum® Grant Program announced today that $200,000 in grants will be awarded to 15 recipients in the United States to help facilitate a range of research on a variety of subjects, as well as support a number of archiving and preservation programs…. Preservation projects include the archiving of uncirculated John Hartford jam tapes, 960 audio reels of Cajun and zydeco artists, and 221 rare interview recordings with African-American actors, performers, composers, musicians, and scholars, among many other preservation projects.”
Pacific Standard: A Generation of Hip-Hop Was Given Away for Free. Can It Be Archived? . “Throughout the history of hip-hop, some of the genre’s most vibrant, popular, and forward-thinking music was never for sale through traditional record company channels—and some of it was never really for sale at all: mixtapes.”
Washingtonian: How Can We Preserve Go-Go’s History?. “This spring, noise complaints forced a Shaw retailer to turn off the go-go recordings that had played in front of his store for more than two decades. The outcry was fast and intense, and in the wake of protests and a #DontMuteDC hashtag started by a Howard student, the music was eventually allowed to return. One intriguing piece of news that came from the coverage: The store’s owner, Donald Campbell, wants to launch a digital streaming platform to share the thousands of hours of live go-go recordings he’s amassed over the years—probably the biggest such collection in existence.” When I saw “go-go,” all I could think of was the 60s and those white go-go boots that used to be popular. This ain’t that. Looking into it further, go-go reminded me of the early rap I grew up with, mixed in with funk and lots of drums. I liked it. If you want to explore, 8tracks has a bunch of playlists.