Blog Post: Celebration Time
(January 25, 2012) An exciting moment at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is cause for celebration – the opening of the Hall of Fame’s library and archives at the Center for Creative Arts on the Cuyahoga Community College Metropolitan Campus in Cleveland, OH, home to the Hall of Fame itself. All of us know that maintaining a library and archive are a costly but necessary step to preserving history and can provide key information about the individuals who are honored by a Hall of Fame. While many of the major halls of fame provide this service, I would venture to say that most halls of fame do not.
First, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame project has been a long time coming, almost 30 years, but the functional execution, if the web site is any indication, is outstanding. The building itself is not universally appealing. Steven Litt, the architectural critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, takes exception to the facility that holds the contents and provides the services. Still, let us recognize the key function this new resource provides for those who wish to learn more about the history of music and the many wonderful individuals and bands who have contributed to its key role in world society and culture. The need for a central place to do research that serves as an amazing collector of key rock & roll archival material has now been fulfilled.
The challenging question for many in the Hall of Fame world is how to preserve the history of their respective honorees without a library and/or an archive. Technology, in its many digital forms, now offers the opportunity to do that in a more budget-conscious way. If your Hall of Fame does not have either, has the use of technology to create a virtual library and/or archive been considered? How might you accomplish this task? Have the costs been investigated? I believe this to be an area in need of much discussion within the industry. It has the possibility of allowing smaller less well-funded organizations emulate the big ones. Worth a conversation!
Jack Huckel, Founder & Principal of J.R. Huckel & Associates, offers election and induction consulting services to Halls of Fame. Jack served the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum as Director of Museum and Archives for 9-1/2 years after more than 10 years as a volunteer. More information is available at the firm’s web site. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518/852-3033.
Jack is a member of the International Sports Heritage Association.