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The Hugo Keesing collection on popular music memorabilia

 Collection 0342-SCPA
The Hugo Keesing Popular Music Memorabilia finding aid describes all popular music memorabilia throughout the Keesing Collections at the University of Maryland. The listed materials belong to six separate collections on popular music and culture. All materials are gifts of Dr. Hugo Keesing, a former professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, and Dr. Keesing's brother, Wouter Keesing. Included are items such as ticket stubs, apparel, jewelry, games, cups, and stickers. The bulk of the material covers the periods 1964 to 1991, and 2012 to 2013.

Dates

  • Majority of material found within 1964-1991, 2012-2013
  • 1957-2013

Use and Access to Collection

The collection is open for research use. Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Contact the curator for an appointment: http://www.lib.umd.edu/scpa/contact

Duplication and Copyright Information

Copyright was not transferred with the donation of the materials; all rights remain with the creators and rights holders.

Extent

180 Items

Scope and Contents

The materials described in the Hugo Keesing Popular Music Memorabilia belong to six separate collections on popular music and culture: The Hugo Keesing Collection on The Beatles, The Wouter Keesing Collection on Fats Domino and New Orleans R&B, The Hugo Keesing Collection on Roy Orbison, The Hugo Keesing Collection on Elvis Presley, The Keesing Collection on Popular Music and Culture, and The Hugo Keesing Collection on One Direction. Included are items such as ticket stubs, apparel, jewelry, games, cups, and stickers. The dates of the collection span from 1957 to 2013, though the bulk of the material covers the periods 1964 to 1991, and 2012 to 2013.

Historical Note

[See finding aid for the Hugo Keesing Collection on Popular Music and Culture for information on Hugo Keesing]

Since the development of institutions such as Hard Rock Café and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in the 1970s and 1980s, collecting music memorabilia has become a popular and profitable hobby for rock enthusiasts. Items that a layperson might pass over—a Bon Jovi T-shirt, a Kiss lunchbox, or a Beatlemania pin, for example—hold significant cultural and monetary value to collectors. As a result of the work and dedication of these collectors, a wealth of artifacts survives from American popular music culture.

Scholars of popular music study not only recordings, but also the cultural context in which the recordings were made. This includes everything from an artist’s politics to fashion trends followed by their audience. A piece of memorabilia connects music with its cultural environment.

This connection may be evident in an artist’s iconography. An artist is represented visually in official merchandise in the way that the artist wishes to be understood by their fans, or how their record label wishes to depict them. Likewise, unofficial or fan-created merchandise depicts an artist in the way that they are perceived by their audience. Memorabilia can also provide demographic information about audiences themselves. Objects such as beer cans and bottle openers suggest an older audience than board games and school supplies. Clothing items may be examined in relation to fashion trends: apparel that conforms to mainstream fashion suggests a different demographic than apparel that fits a counterculture aesthetic.

Memorabilia not produced by an artist or their record company can provide information about an artist’s popularity or significance at a particular time. Manufacturers producing collector’s items will make a decision regarding which artists to feature. A researcher will ask why the featured artists are considered to be more important than others, and which cultural authorities make these decisions.

These are merely several ways in which memorabilia is an important component of music research. Just as an audio recording captures sound, a piece of memorabilia captures an action or idea associated with that sound. By examining these artifacts, scholars are able to develop a more complete picture of American popular music culture.

Arrangement

The materials cataloged in this finding aid belong to six separate collections on popular music and culture:
The series/box/folder number indicates the location of each item within its respective original archival collection. More detailed information on each item is available from this spreadsheet [link to CCo sheet].

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

All materials are gifts of Hugo and Wouter Keesing and Gabby Lucia. Each collection has been processed separately.

Related Materials

The following Keesing collections may also contain items of interest:
The Keesing Collection also contains thousands of catalogued books, available for use in the Lowens room. To view the available titles, visit the Libraries' catalog. Using the "type of search" drop-down menu, select "call number" and type "MKEESING" into the word search box. This brings up a multi-page, browse-able list of Keesing Collection books.
Title
The Hugo Keesing collection on popular music memorabilia
Status
In Progress
Author
Ray Ace, Summer 2016
Date
2019-05-21
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States