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The Hugo Keesing collection on popular music and culture consists of books, serials, recordings, sheet music, clippings, memorabilia, and teaching and research materials related to twentieth-century American popular music, and to rock and roll music in particular. The materials were collected by Hugo Keesing, a popular culture scholar and former professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, and by Dr. Keesing's brother, Wouter Keesing. The bulk of the collection covers the period from the 1950s to the 1990s. Serials in the collection include Rolling Stone, Pulse, Discoveries, Goldmine, and many other national and regional music serials. Research and teaching materials include Dr. Keesing's University of Maryland syllabi and class notes, writings, auction lists, catalogues, and price guides. This collection also contains thousands of LP singles and pieces of sheet music pertaining to popular music in the twentieth century, for which item level inventory is available.
Please note: While the majority of this collection has been processed, select series may not yet have complete inventories. Please contact the curator for more information.
The collection is open for research use. Please note that all individual items are not reflected in this finding aid, in regards to sheet music and recordings. Contact the curator for more information.
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
Copyright was not transferred with the donation of the materials; all rights remain with the creators and rights holders.
160.00 Linear Feet
The Hugo Keesing collection on popular music and culture has been separated into nine series consisting of realia, ephemera, clippings, popular music periodicals, sheet music, recordings, and auction catalogues of popular culture items. It also contains Dr. Keesing's personal teaching and research materials related to twentieth-century American popular music, and to rock and roll music and youth culture in particular. The final series contains a set of time capsules created by Dr. Keesing comprised of popular culture materials that represent different decades of the twentieth century. The bulk of the materials cover the dates from 1950 to 1990, but in total the materials span the whole of the twentieth century. Original order has been maintained as much as possible.
The sheet music and recordings have been described at item level in a separate inventory. Please contact the curator for more information.
Hugo Arnold Keesing is a popular culture scholar and a former professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is particularly known for his expertise on popular music and the Vietnam War. Keesing was born in the Netherlands in 1943 and moved to the United States when he was seven years old. An avid collector, Keesing's interest in popular music began when he started collecting records in the mid-1950s.
From 1970 to 1971, after earning degrees from Duke University and George Washington University, Keesing taught psychology courses for the University of Maryland to U.S. military personnel and their dependents stationed in Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Thailand. He then taught courses for the University in various European countries, and became the head of the University's European Division Office in 1974. During this time, Keesing was also conducting the research that would culminate in his doctoral dissertation, "Youth in Transition: A Content Analysis of Two Decades of Popular Music." He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Adelphi University in 1972.
In the mid-1970s, Keesing returned to the United States and began teaching a course entitled "Popular Music in American Society" at the University of Maryland in College Park. This course sought to interest students in contemporary history through topical music. As a result of this course and others he taught for the University, Keesing amassed large collections of teaching and research materials related to popular music and other aspects of popular culture, with a particular strength in Vietnam War-era materials. These materials ranged from music records and radio recordings to reference books, popular books, and realia. Keesing taught at the University of Maryland until the mid-1990s. He also worked for the graduate school program of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 1980 until 2006.
In 1996, Keesing began a partnership with Special Collections in Performing Arts at the University of Maryland, eventually donating large portions of his popular music and culture collections to the University, as well as collections amassed by his brother, Wouter Keesing.
Keesing is currently active as a lecturer, writer, and consultant. In 2010, he curated the 13-CD boxed set Next Stop is Vietnam: The War on record, 1961-2008 and wrote the accompanying book. His most recently published project was the 4-CD boxed set Battleground Korea: Songs and Sounds of America's Forgotten War, released in 2018 with the accompanying book.
This collection has been arranged in nine series.
Gift of Hugo Keesing received in shipments beginning in September 1996. Receipt of materials is ongoing.
Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library