Since the earliest days of punk, Maximum Rocknroll has been producing a radio show, publishing a monthly magazine, releasing records, organizing shows, and supporting worldwide punk projects. As MRR enters its 40th year, we are undertaking our most ambitious project ever: creating a comprehensive online database of our record collection and music reviews. The project will also see out-of-print issues of the magazine fully digitized. We’re asking for donations to our fundraiser to support the archive project. We also accept tax-deductible donations year-round to support the day-to-day operations of the magazine.
The MRR Archive Project has the twin goals of long-term viability for our physical collections, and a searchable, sortable online database of our holdings. Our database will be one-of-a-kind, serving as an online catalog and repository for punk’s material history. In addition to records, the archive is home to countless rare and unheard demo tapes, zines, photographs, one-of-a-kind record covers designed by Tim Yohannan, and flyers dating back to the genre’s inception, many of which will be digitized for the first time
MRR has been instrumental in punk history and historiography, and the archive and database will be an essential resource for record collectors, historians, and anyone interested in punk, hardcore, and garage rock. It will be like a fully realized version of Kill from the Heart (a spiritual ancestor of this project, spearheaded by former MRR coordinator Chris Hubbard) or Discogs for the what-we-do-is-secret crowd.
It has been ten years since the collection has been properly inventoried. We recently rehoused our 7” collection, implementing a new organizational system and moving records from cramped shelves to spacious boxes, but nearly all of our LPs are unbagged and some are stuck together with the green tape used to identify records that belong to MRR. It’s essential that we inventory and preserve the collection to ensure its long-term survival.
We launched a fundraiser on May 9 and quickly surpassed our initial goal of $15,000. The initial goal was designed to support the first phases of this project, but further donations will make the archive project even better and more sustainable. Every $500 pays for another year of poly bags, inner sleeves, and EP boxes. Every $600 buys another (earthquake-safe!) shelf for new records. With $1500, we can buy four Chromebooks for our inventory volunteers — making the process faster and more efficient — as well as portable scanners to bring into the stacks and more hard-drives to back it all up. At a small, independent, volunteer-run DIY operation like MRR, where the people raising this money are also the IT department, the editors, and the archivists, your contribution makes a huge difference. Having access to state-of-the-art, stable technology is essential to making this project a reality.
With your continued support, we can send our archivist to trainings and conferences so she can brainstorm with other professionals about how to make the best and most sustainable resource. We can purchase replacement copies of the records that have been damaged beyond repair, or worse, stolen from the archive. We want our website to be fully accessible for users of all abilities — this too requires money. After seeing the excitement for this project, we have our eyes on a mobile app version of the database. Exceeding our initial goal will allow us to plan even further into the future when we’ll digitize every radio show dating back to 1977, our extensive photo and ephemera collections, and our zines database.
Maximum Rocknroll is and will always be a volunteer-run operation. We welcome Bay Area punks who want to help out in any capacity — just drop us a line! We especially need volunteers for inventorying the collection and helping with preservation work. To volunteer, email