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Music 2501 Discovering Hip-Hop: Research and the Cornell Hip-Hop Collection

Steven Pond and Bonna Boettcher
Cornell University

One of the department's course offerings is Music 2501 (soon to be Music 3303), "Discovering Hip-Hop: Research and the Cornell Hip-Hop Collection," which is co-taught by associate professor Steven Pond and Bonna Boettcher, librarian of the Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance and adjunct professor. Students in this course were among the first to conduct hands-on research with the materials in the Cornell University Library's extensive archive on the history of hip-hop, acquired in 2007.

Click on this link to view the Cyber Tower video, "Hip-Hop in the Cornell Library," in which the faculty and students describe their experience, and pioneering hip-hop photographer Joe Conzo talks about the importance of preserving hip hop's earliest years for future generations of students and scholars.

The course, limited to fifteen students, addresses research issues and methodologies through the lens of Cornell’s Hip-Hop Collection, a gift of collector and author Johan Kugelberg, which is housed in Cornell Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. The collection features a significant archive on the history of hip-hop and rap music, documenting its emergence in the Bronx in the 1970s and early 1980s. It includes sound recordings, a key photographic archive, textile art, books, magazines, and more than five hundred original flyers. The course provides students opportunities to gain new insights into hip-hop culture, while also introducing them to research and curatorial methodologies and goals.

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