The Special Collections Research Center of the Swem Library on the campus of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, has announced the establishment of the William & Mary Hip-Hop Collection. The effort will assemble oral histories, audio and video recordings, publications, posters, and memorabilia by Virginia-based hip-hop artists and businesses.
Amy Schindler, university archivist and director of the Special Collections Research Center, explains why the college has embarked on this effort: “Hip-hop has been around since the 1970s, and we’re in a space now where some of the early people are no longer with us. We need to work with people now to get that history.”
“A number of archives around the country, most at universities or other research institutions, have their own hip-hop collections. Some of them are very specific as far as the region or time period they document. For example, at Cornell, their collection runs from the 70s to the mid-80s in the Bronx,” Schindler explained. “By comparison, what we’re doing with the collection here is to focus on anyone who is a native of Virginia or whose work was influenced by their time in Virginia.”