Collections

The “Born in the Bronx” Collection. #8021

Collected by author and curator Johan Kugelberg, the “Born in the Bronx” Collection includes nearly 1,000 vinyl recordings documenting the earliest phase of commercial rap music ca. 1979-1985, along with nearly 400 Hip Hop party and event flyers from the New York City area ca. 1977-1985. A list of the recordings is available in the online guide.

Joe Conzo, Jr. Archive. #8021

Cornell serves as the home of the archive of Joe Conzo, Jr., called “The man who took Hip-Hop’s baby pictures” by the New York Times, Conzo captured images of the South Bronx between 1977 and 1984, including early Hip Hop jams, street scenes, and Latin music performers and events. The Hip Hop Collection preserves more than 10,000 of Conzo’s negatives and photographs, including extensive documentation of the important early Hip Hop group, the Cold Crush Brothers. View YouTube video.

Buddy Esquire Archive. #8021

This collection preserves the original working files and art of Buddy Esquire, “The Flyer King” of Hip Hop, through hundreds of his flyers, his original cut-and-paste flyer art, and portfolios containing the clippings, lettering, and source images he used to create many of his designs.

Geoffrey Weiss Collection. #8029

More than 7,000 Hip Hop recordings ca. 1980-2005 on vinyl and CD (most concentrating on the 1988-2001 period) collected and donated by Geoffrey Weiss. His collection also includes many original press packets and photographs issued by record labels and artist representatives.

Breakbeat Lenny Archive. #8052

The Breakbeat Lenny Archive consists of sound recordings and printed material ca. 1979-1982. It was assembled by Lenny Roberts, better known as Breakbeat Lenny, a DJ who, along with Breakbeat Lou (Louis Flores), assembled the seminal compilation series “Ultimate Breaks and Beats” (1986-1991). The core of the collection is a series of rare soundboard recordings of live performances, 127 Hip Hop party flyers, and a selection of publications relating to record collecting and DJing, which informed the assembly of the breakbeats that guided the growth of Hip Hop throughout the 1980s and 1990s. See the collection guide and the Cornell Hip Hop Flyer Collection.

Archive of the IGTimes (originally called the International Grafitti Times), #8067

This collection documents the international rise of the aerosol art movement and its origins in New York City's Hip Hop culture. Founded by David Schmidlapp, with art direction by Phase2, the complete files of the magazine (published 1983-1994) fill 16 cartons and include: 44 hand-collaged paste-upboards, 4,500 photographs documenting art work sent to the IGTimes from all over the world, 5,000 pieces of fan mail from readers, more than 500 magazines and fanzines, advertising files, and 1,000 slide transparencies.

Richie “SEEN” Mirando Archive, #8073

149 original drawings and 370 original photographs, comprising nearly all that remains of the original sketches used for some of the most famous subway trains ever painted, the artist’s collection of original photographs of his work (yard and station shots in addition to action shots of paintings in progress), and the artist’s collection of original drawings by other United Artists crew members and collaborators such as Pjay, Mitch 77, Duster, Billy 167, Mad, RAL2 and Zoom. The collection also contains ephemera such as gallery flyers, newspaper articles, and the rare original Style Wars New York "sneak preview" poster with an original outline by Duster on the reverse.

Charlie Ahearn Hip Hop Archive. #8078

Charlie Ahearn is an American film director and video artist. He is best known as the director and producer of Wild Style (1983), celebrated as the first feature film to document Hip Hop culture. Charlie Ahearn’s Hip Hop Archive features 10 cubic feet of material: original video and audio recordings, photographs, detailed film production records and drawings for Wild Style, flyers, posters, original art, and oral histories documenting early Hip Hop culture and the production of his 1983 film Wild Style.

Ernie Paniccioli Archive. #8079

Ernie Paniccioli is a Cree photographer, author and activist who has been capturing Hip Hop culture on film for the past 35 years. Celebrated for his work as a photographer for Word Up magazine, and his book Who Shot Ya: Three Decades of Hip Hop Photography (2002), his archive includes more than 50,000 images in physical and digital form: photographic prints, negatives, digital files, magazines, and other ephemera created or collected by him, representing the complete body of his work as an artist and photographer from the 1970s to the present.

Jorge “Popmaster Fabel” Pabon Archive. #8082

Jorge “Popmaster Fabel” Pabon is a Hip Hop dance pioneer and longtime member of the Rock Steady Crew. He established his archive in the Hip Hop Collection with a deposit of early flyers, promotional materials and other ephemera documenting his career as a celebrated b-boy from the early 1980s to the present. An adjunct professor of dance at the NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Fabel practices and teaches popping and locking, a style of Hip Hop dance. He is also a graffiti artist and a DJ. In 2012 he won the Words Beats Life, Inc. Hip Hop Pioneer of the Year award and was designated “Best Hip Hop Professor” by the Village Voice. Fabel and his wife Christie Z-Pabon are the founders of Tools of War, an organization dedicated to bringing the true spirit of Hip Hop culture to NYC parks.


Cornell’s hip hop collection is growing steadily, and is supported by hundreds of books and related items in the collections. To inquire about access or to make a donation, please contact us (hiphopcollection@cornell.edu).