Scope and Contents
The Keesing Collection on Music and the Vietnam War consists of realia, photographs, books, magazines, news clippings, sheet music, thousands of audio recordings in a variety of formats such as LPs, 45s, cassette tapes, and compact discs, as well as Dr. Keesing’s personal research materials. The materials in this collection date from 1956 to 2018, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1966 to 1973 and 1988 to 2010. Items in this collection come from three distinct periods of time: during the Vietnam War, the years following the war with materials pertaining to memorials and organizations for veterans, and research materials collected or generated by Hugo Keesing pertaining to the compilation of a discography of Vietnam War songs and his published CD box-set (with accompanying book), …Next Stop Is Vietnam: The War on Record, 1961-2008.
The majority of the magazines, newspapers, and various clippings are from major publications such as Life, Time, Newsweek, and the Washington Post, and date from during or shortly after the Vietnam War (1960s-1980s). This collection contains several books written about or inspired by the Vietnam War, both fictional and non-fictional works. The majority of the pieces of sheet music date from during the Vietnam War, whereas the recordings date from both during and after the war (refer to the Series 5 description for a detailed explanation as to what constitutes a “Vietnam War song” in terms of this collection). Many of the singles in the recordings series contain marginalia by Dr. Keesing about song themes, lyrics, genre, and vocals, all of which is compiled in a separate database. There are also several items pertaining to various support organizations, memorials, and benefit concerts for Vietnam veterans, especially the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. (also referred to as “The Wall”), the Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Vietnam Veterans History Project. Dr. Keesing’s research materials include auction listings of Vietnam song recordings (both contained in this collection and not yet acquired); drafts, edits, and notes for Next Stop is Vietnam; many versions of and correspondence about the ongoing Vietnam songs discography compilation; and several other items related to his research on music and the Vietnam War.