Hip-hop culture preserved in Atlanta libraries and museums in honor of 50th anniversary

The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture & History joined several other organizations to create the Atlanta Hip-Hop Archives. (Courtesy of Fulton County Library System)

Hip-hop fans and historians have been celebrating this year as the 50th anniversary of the hip-hop movement, which sparked the moment a young DJ Kool Herc spun the first known “breakbeats” at a back-to-school dance party in 1973.

In honor of this milestone, an expansive collaboration between archivists at libraries, museums, colleges and universities nationwide is taking place to document and present hip-hop history for the engagement of local communities. Georgia State University is creating the Atlanta Hip-Hop Archives and, along with GSU, the Auburn Avenue Research Library, the Trap Museum and a number of libraries and museums across the country were part of a national grant and programming run through the Queens Public Library in New York City.

In this interview, Auburn Avenue Research Library administrator Victor Simmons and the library’s music and pop culture archivist Brittany Newberry joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes to talk more about archiving hip-hop and its history.

“Hip-hop is not just East Coast-West Coast. It’s global. It’s the South. It’s the world,” Newberry said.

“The South Got Something to Say: Preserving Atlanta Hip-Hop History” event is Thursday at Georgia State’s Downtown Campus Library from 4-9 p.m. More information is available here.