In 2007, Cornell University Library's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections acquired an extensive archive on the history of hip-hop as it first emerged from the Bronx, New York, in the 1970s and early 1980s.
In addition to nearly 1,000 recordings, the archive contains photographs, textile art, books and magazines, and more than 500 original party and club flyers. The collection documents the origins of hip-hop as music, culture, and community in the Bronx and its influence on the history of music, art, performance, and activism in America.
Students in Steve Pond's course "Researching Hip-Hop" were among the first to conduct hands-on research with the original artifacts in the archive. In this video, the students and faculty 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.