I am going to start an archive.

I’ve been in school for a few years now, listening to my professors who urge us on a daily basis to get out there, get dirty, and find a community that is under-represented archivally. Finally, inspiration struck.

I am going to start an archive.

The one piece of jewelry I wear as a constant is a constantly-rotation selection of tiny 1-inch pins, or buttons. They represent bands I like, bands I’ve seen, and other events that mark an enjoyable memory. I’m positive this fascination started when I was a child, when my parents would solicit my relatives to bring back buttons from their travels. The pins that I wear now are a mini-advertisement of who I am, where I’ve been, and what I’ve done. They tell a story.

1-inch pins have a tradition in the ska, punk, and hardcore music community as a cheap-to-produce, cheap-to-sell merchandising option along with vinyl stickers and gig posters. Unlike the posters and stickers however, they can be attached to the band’s fans anywhere they go, providing a roaming advert for the band and a stylish conversation-starter for the wearer. Just like their song lengths, many punk, ska, and hardcore bands didn’t last long, now existing as a memory to their members and fans. These pins, which are worn now as badges of honor and experience maintain the conversations and memories for future generations and reunions.

I want to create an online photo-archive of these pins. I want to maintain those conversations, those bragging rights, and the histories of those bands that for some, shaped their young adult lives.

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This is a call to arms!  
Would any of you know any archives that are involved in similar projects, possibly also in the New England area? I am a New York resident currently and would appreciate any local, professional help before I venture back home and inquire further.

I would be inquiring into best practices, collection tips, regional professional references, etc. from local professionals so I can better streamline a future process. I have only just begun a search of possible existing archives of Boston area music ephemera, and would like to avoid any overlap if possible. I would be happy to either add to an already-established collection, work with others who were also interested, or start the project from the ground up. Right now, I’m attempting to uncover as much as possible so there’s the least chance of collection overlap.

Any advice appreciated! Let the good ideas flow!

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