What started over 40 years ago as a pre-teen obsession with the rock band Queen has turned into a valuable asset. This valuable asset is now making its way to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (HOF) for preserving and including in the Queen archive. We’re referring to a scrapbook of news articles and magazine clippings that LAC freelance writer, Rebecca Hirschfield, collected in the late 1970s and early ‘80s.
Back then, one of the few sources of information on musical groups was now-defunct magazines with names like CREEM, Circus, Rock Scene and Vibes—and if they mentioned Queen, Hirschfield bought them. The scrapbook grew to over 150 pages of articles, photos, ticket stubs and set lists before she left high school. It moved from New Jersey to Maryland to North Carolina and back to Maryland again, living in a crate of other cherished memorabilia.
Now, it’s headed to its final home—the archives of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The release of the recent film on Queen’s meteoric rise to fame, Bohemian Rhapsody, prompted Hirschfield to take the scrapbook out for another look. A few photos posted on Facebook led an archivist friend to suggest that Hirschfield consider donating the scrapbook to the HOF for posterity and potential future research.
HOF Archives Director Jennie Thomas assured Hirschfield that the scrapbook would make a welcome addition to the collection. Said Thomas,
“Popular music fandom is as entwined with the history of rock and roll as the music itself. Scrapbooks reflect not only the aesthetic of their creator but that of the culture in which they are created. Information-rich books like Rebecca’s are particularly of interest to archives as they provide a snapshot of a musical group through the lens of a specific time and place.”
Of her decision to part with the scrapbook, Hirschfield says,
“It’s actually difficult to let it go, but I’m also glad it’s going somewhere safe where it can be appreciated by others. Plus, it’s pretty exciting to know that my name will be recorded for this tiny contribution to rock and roll history.”
Hirschfield’s scrapbook has been digitized, so she’ll still have a copy of it. Her love of Queen’s music continues to this day, and she hopes one day to visit her personal Queen archive at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame archives in Cleveland.