The collection contains correspondence, writings, artwork, photographs, clothing, fanzines, stencils, posters, printed ephemera, and computer and audiovisual media documenting punk culture in Great Britain. The bulk of materials were collected by British writer Jon Savage and American curator Johan Kugelberg for use in several books and exhibitions. While the collection focuses on British punk, there are also materials pertaining to punk movements in the United States, Australia, and other countries in Europe, North America, and Asia.
Series I, Collection of Sex Pistols and Malcolm McLaren, documents the British punk band Sex Pistols, manager Malcolm McLaren, and band members Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten (born John Lydon). Materials include correspondence from Mark Perry and Tony Wilson; writings by Adam Ant, Roger Ebert, and John Ingham; artwork by Jamie Reid; T-shirts and neckties designed by Vivienne Westwood and McLaren for their boutiques Sex and Seditionaries; photographs by Roberta Bayley; and printed material relating to the New York Dolls, Bow Wow Wow, the Clash, and Public Image Ltd.
Series II, Collection of Crass Fanzines, Stencils, and Other Material, pertains to the British anarcho-punk art collective and musical group Crass and members Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher. It contains nearly 1900 punk and anarchist fanzines from around the world, including publications by Crass fan Graham Burnett and Dutch punk band Rondos. Also present are stencils, a drumhead, record covers, and sound recordings by Crass, Poison Girls, Captain Sensible, Conflict, and Flux of Pink Indians.
Series III, Collection of Jon Savage and The Secret Public Material, pertains to the artwork of Jon Savage and his collaboration with artist Linder Sterling on the fanzine The Secret Public in Manchester, England. Also included are photomontages by Ian Pollock and George Snow, and graphics for the bands Generation X, Buzzcocks, Magazine, Durutti Column, Joy Division, Ludus, and the Worst.
Series IV, Punk Zine Production Material, contains original production copies of the punk fanzines London's Burning by John Ingham and Trousers in Action by Bruce Griffiths of Sydney, Australia.
Series V, Computer Media, contains CDs and DVDs by Malcolm McLaren, Penny Rimbaud, and Gee Vaucher.
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Box 39-45, 74-76, 81 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Box 84 (electronic media): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies of electronic files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Conditions Governing Use
The British Punk Archive is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Boo-Hooray on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2014.
Organized into five series: I. Collection of Sex Pistols and Malcolm McLaren, 1940s–2012. II. Collection of Crass Fanzines, Stencils, and Other Material, circa 1976–2011. III. Collection of Jon Savage and The Secret Public Material, 1976–2010. IV. Punk Zine Production Material, 1976–1986. V. Computer Media, circa 2010–2011.
95.2 Linear Feet ((79 boxes) + 5 broadside)
The collection contains correspondence, writings, artwork, photographs, clothing, fanzines, stencils, posters, printed ephemera, and computer and audiovisual media documenting punk culture in Great Britain.
The punk movement in Great Britain first emerged in London in 1975 and evolved throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s. Its origins can be traced to the formation of the Sex Pistols, a musical group assembled by Malcolm McLaren in late 1975 to promote his London clothing boutique Sex. McLaren, who had previously managed the proto-punk rock band New York Dolls in the United States, and his partner Vivienne Westwood were influential in establishing the subversive aesthetics of the Sex Pistols, while band members Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones, Paul Cook, and Glen Matlock built on hard rock to create a distinctive sound. The Sex Pistols quickly rose to fame in 1976 through their raucous performances and the release of their debut single, "Anarchy in the UK."
A generation of British punk bands was born in the wake of the Sex Pistols, including the Clash and Generation X in London, and Buzzcocks and the Worst in Manchester. As the punk movement grew, more politically radical bands emerged across England, including anarcho-punk group Crass in Essex, Poison Girls in Brighton, and Flux of Pink Indians in Hertfordshire.
Printed material received with the collection was removed for separate cataloging and can be accessed by searching the library’s online catalog.
Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization.
Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing. Information in brackets is also supplied by staff.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Anarchists -- Great Britain -- 20th century
- Ant, Adam
- Artists -- Great Britain -- 20th Century
- Artists, British -- 20th century -- Archives
- Audiovisual materials
- Authors -- Great Britain -- 20th Century
- Authors, British -- 20th century -- Archives
- Bayley, Roberta
- Born digital
- Bow Wow Wow (Musical group)
- Burnett, Graham
- Buzzcocks (Musical group)
- Captain Sensible
- Clash (Musical group)
- Conflict (Musical group)
- Crass (Musical group)
- Durutti Column (Musical group)
- Ebert, Roger
- Fan magazines
- Fashion designers -- Great Britain -- 20th Century
- Fashion designers, British -- 20th century -- Archives
- Flux of Pink Indians (Musical group)
- Generation X (Musical group)
- Griffiths, Bruce
- Griffiths, Bruce (Trousers in Action)
- Ingham, John (Music critic)
- Ingham, John (Music critic) (London's Burning)
- Joy Division (Musical group)
- Kugelberg, Johan
- Ludus (Musical group : Manchester, England)
- Lydon, John, 1956-
- Magazine (Musical group)
- McLaren, Malcolm, 1946-2010
- Musicians -- Great Britain -- 20th century
- Musicians, British -- 20th century -- Archives
- New York Dolls (Musical group)
- Perry, Mark, (Vocalist)
- Photomontages (visual works)
- Poison Girls (Musical group)
- Pollock, Ian
- Printed ephemera
- Public Image Ltd. (Musical group)
- Punk culture
- Punk culture -- Great Britain
- Punk culture -- Australia
- Punk culture -- England -- Manchester
- Punk culture and art
- Punk rock music
- Punk rock music -- England -- Manchester
- Punk rock music -- Great Britain
- Punk rock music -- Pictorial works
- Punk rock musicians
- Punk rock musicians -- Great Britain
- Record covers
- Reid, Jamie, 1947-
- Rimbaud, Penny, 1943-
- Rondos (Musical group)
- Rotten, Johnny, 1956-
- Savage, Jon
- Savage, Jon (The Secret Public)
- Seditionaries (Boutique : London, England)
- Sex (Boutique : London, England)
- Sex Pistols (Musical group)
- Snow, George
- Sound recordings -- Album covers
- Stencils (image-making tools)
- Sterling, Linder, 1954-
- Sterling, Linder, 1954- (The Secret Public)
- Vaucher, Gee
- Vicious, Sid
- Westwood, Vivienne, 1941-2022
- Wilson, Tony, 1950-2007
- Worst (Musical group : Manchester, England)
- Zines -- Australia
- Zines -- Great Britain
- Guide to the British Punk Archive
- by Nora Soto
- February 2023
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
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