Friday, July 15, 2016

Funny in the Year 2316?

From the first day I started the project I was looking forward to this day - placing all the publications into a respected archive.

Sure, the book release was huge for me - four years in the making. But, dropping off all the materials for future generations to explore had been on my "must do" list.

Let me explain how it happened.

As far back as I can remember, my dad used to drag me to libraries, through cemeteries, and archives to find information about our family. I was always in wonder of the things you could find, if you knew where to look. Even if the information didn't mean much to me as a kid, the design of old ads from newspapers in the late 1800s, or even the early 1900s, always looked cool. So, as the son of someone who taught me the importance of libraries and research, I knew all the Orbit materials needed to be preserved.

A few years ago, I asked Jerry what he wanted me to do with the materials - magazines, notes, ephemera - he had given to me to do the book when I was finished.

"You can keep it." 

"What am I going to do with it... put it in my closet?" 

I've cut down on my collecting over the past few years due to several moves and a need to find a more manageable level of things to deal with in my life.

I remember being told by Cary Loren at Book Beat that the Bentley Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor held a collection of many of the underground, as well as mainstream, newspapers from Michigan's history. Publications like the Fifth Estate, the work of John & Leni Sinclair as well as the Metro Times and even the major Detroit dailies.

Outside the Bentley
I reached out to the Bentley a few years ago though email. They said they had a few copies of Orbit, but not a full set. They said they would love the complete collection. So, I started laying the ground to make that happen.

"Why would they want them," Jerry asked.

"Why do you think? They are history. A snapshot of what you did in print between 1978 and 1999 - an important time and an alternative voice from what the mainstream was doing at the time," I said.

Today, July 15th, was the day I dropped off all the materials at the Bentley.

Five Boxes of Punk Publishing History
I met Michael Smith, the head of the library, was couldn't be happier to have the materials. He showed me around the library as well as the climate controlled three level storage facility and the conservation area where papers, photos, and other materials can be saved and restored.

After a look around, I dropped off five boxes of materials - physical issues of the complete run of Fun and Orbit magazines, bagged and boarded, as well as digital files for White Noise, Fun, some of Orbit, and the three issues of the rival punk rag - Spooee.

Fun & Orbit Resting Well at the Bentley 
The Bentley plans to digitalize everything in the coming year. They also plan to have the materials available for scholarship and research. We are currently planning an event in late October to give magazine staffers a chance to see where the materials will be stored and enjoy a little wine & cheese at the library (if you'd like to know more about that event, shoot me an email).

As we go to bed tonight, Orby and Winky will sleep soundly in climate controlled peace.

A Hard Drive, a Book, Notes, and Stuff
The only question left to be answered is will the jokes still hold up in 300 years?

I guess we'll have to wait to find out.


  1. it is really interesting post you shared here. But i can't answer the question straight away, but i guess that the jokes will still hold up in 300 years. because fun is what we can't stop sharing:)

  2. So far, i couldn't get the meaning and concept of this blog. I don't like such blogs when gets start without any introduction of the topic.

  3. Happy to hear about the book release which took four years in the making. This is going to help the future generation. I recommend every book lover to go through this blog.

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