Citizen Archivists and Cultural Memory
No area of cultural activity is more in need of citizen archivists than music, where entire scenes come and go in the blink of an eye, exiting before documentation of their existence can be thoroughly captured. Artists and labels can be the caretakers of their own cultural record, as long as they have the awareness and tools to make it happen. Citizen archivists talk about their labels and collections; discuss ways to sustain musical collections over time for history, profit or just for the thrill of it; and inspire others with compelling stories that demonstrate the value of preserving musical memories.
Butch Lazorchak is a digital archivist at the Library of Congress working in the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, a collaborative project that supports a network of partners exploring the capture, preservation and provision of access to a rich variety of digital information.
Born and raised in the rough-and-tumble seaport town of Detroit, Michigan, Ben Blackwell has been a reluctant participant in the overhyped underground rock and roll community (both as a performer in the Dirtbombs and on the label-side in his work through Third Man and his own imprint Cass Records) since 1999. He ate his first salad at the age of 21, has never gone to the bathroom on an airplane and has read every issue of Vanity Fair cover-to-cover since 2006.