Popular Music Heritage, Community Archives and the Challenge of Sustainability

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Baker, Sarah
Collins, Jez
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2017
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Abstract

This article identifies the challenges community archives of popular music face in achieving medium- to long-term sustainability. The artefacts and vernacular knowledge to be found in community archives, both physical and online, are at risk of being lost ‘to the tip’ and, consequently, to ‘cultural memory’, due to a lack of resources and technological change. The authors offer case studies of the British Archive of Country Music, a physical archive, and an online Facebook group Upstairs at the Mermaid, to exemplify how and why such groups must strategize their practices in order to remain sustainable. By including both online and physical community archiving in the scope of this research, the authors find that despite key differences in practice, both archival communities face similar threats of closure. The article concludes with an overview of the general outlook for community archives, and possible solutions to this ongoing issue of sustainable practices and processes for this sector.

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International Journal of Cultural Studies

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This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.

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Heritage, archive and museum studies

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