A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities will help Cornell University Library organize and preserve a new hip-hop collection.
The NEH gave Cornell $260,000 to preserve the archive of Afrika Bambaataa, whose groundbreaking advances as a musician, DJ and community leader led to him becoming widely known as 'the godfather of hip-hop.'
The grant will help Cornell Library's Hip Hop Collection expand its Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. Bambaataa's archive will be available to students, researchers and the public in Ithaca. In the press release, Katherine Reagan, the rare book and manuscript curator at CHHC, talked about the impact of this new collection.
'In preserving Bambaataa's archive and making it open and accessible, Cornell University Library will support a growing body of international scholars and educators who study hip-hop not only for its global influence on popular music, art and style, but its role in articulating social and political issues,' Reagan said.
Bambaataa was the first visiting scholar at CHHC, and he recently completed a three-year term there. His work, which many say gave hip-hop its core elements, is internationally recognized today. From DJing to breakdancing to rapping, Bambaataa has tied together all these elements of art and culture under one umbrella.
The Bambaataa collection to be presented at the CHHC will tell the story of hip-hop's emergence and transition over time. Bambaataa's vinyls and works will become available to the public.