The University of New Mexico Fine Arts and Design Library has close to 20,000 LP –or “long play”– records still in regular use by students, faculty, staff and the public for research and pleasure.
The broad collection is an important archive of history, literature, theatre, music, language, politics and art. 'Archives in the Grooves: a Sound Collection' will showcase the unique assortment and will be on exhibit in the Fine Arts and Design Library through April 30.
The record collection covers an outstanding legacy of musical history and sounds and also changing tastes in cover art through impressive, colorful and artistic covers. The selections on display curated by three library staff members represent the broad scope of the collection. Stephanie Akau chose Afro-American composers of the 20th century. Jonathan Hartshorn installed an informative piece on jazz musician, Cecil Taylor. William Kinney filled three display cases with popular music LPs; theatre, poetry, history and civil rights LPs; and outstanding flamenco and classical guitar LPs.
During the exhibition staff will share new material with a featured 'what we are listening to this week' LP including background information about the artist and the music, plus reviews from some of the library’s music journals to give a sense of what the critics were saying at the time of release.
Akau, Hartshorn and Kinney are determined that this underused resource get the attention it deserves. Although fascinating to look at, the collection is meant to be heard.
The Fine Arts and Design Library also has equipment to play many kinds of media – with headphones – and is located on the fourth floor of George Pearl Hall.