The Collections

All of the materials for Persistent Vision are drawn from 17 individual collections located at Special Collections in Performing Arts (SCPA) at the University of Maryland that together make up the Punk collections at UMD. As the performing arts archive at the University of Maryland, SCPA is made up of a diverse array of collections on the performing arts, broadly defined, one facet of which are our punk collections. Each collection is unique to the person or people that put it together, with each collection providing a distinct slice of the D.C. scene. Read below to find out more and explore a collection. All collections listed below are open to the public, just email us to make an appointment here so that you can experience the material legacy of the scene yourself.

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Chris Baronner digital collection on D.C. punk

Chris Baronner (b. 1976) is an American concert promoter, talent buyer, booking agent, photographer and musician. The Chris Baronner digital collection on D.C. Punk contains items that span the period of 1982 to 2018; the bulk of the material dates from 1994 to 2000 when Baronner was promoting shows in State College, Pennsylvania and touring the United States with his band, Ethel Meserve. The collection contains fliers for D.C.-related bands, posters used to promote D.C. record label releases and band tours, concert photographs taken by Baronner, and ephemera related to D.C. punk culture.

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Paul Bushmiller collection on punk

Paul Bushmiller (b. 1959) is a copy cataloger in the Collection Strategies and Services division of the University of Maryland Libraries. During the period represented in this collection, Bushmiller was a student at the University of Maryland, as well as a disc jockey with the UMD's student-run radio station, WMUC-FM. Bushmiller collected most of the fliers in this collection on the campus of the University of Maryland.

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Sharon Cheslow punk flyers collection

Sharon Cheslow (b. 1961, Los Angeles, CA), an American musician, artist, author, and educator, is a notable figure in Washington, DC punk rock history, particularly in terms of the scene’s rise in prominence internationally. She was both an eyewitness and participant during the bedrock years of DC punk (late 1970s through early 1990s). The Sharon Cheslow Punk Flyers collection contains items that span the period of May 1, 1979 to December 30, 1991; the bulk of the material dates from 1980 to 1990. The collection includes 484 punk flyers (393 originals, 91 photocopies) created and collected during 1979 through 1991. Nearly all of the flyers in the collection are promoting shows in the Washington, DC area and feature punk bands from the DC area.

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Aaron Claxton collection on D.C. hardcore punk

Aaron “AC” Claxton (b. 1977) is a musician and business owner who was active in the Washington, D.C. hardcore punk scene in the early 1990s. The Aaron Claxton collection on D.C. Hardcore contains items that span the years 1992 to 1995; the bulk of the materials date from 1992 to 1993, when Claxton was a member of the hardcore band Gauge. The materials in this collection primarily consist of show fliers and photographs related to shows that Claxton performed at or attended.

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John Davis collection on punk

John Davis (b. 1976) is an American musician, fanzine editor, librarian, and archivist. The John Davis collection on punk contains items that span the period from 1980 to 2019; the bulk of the material dates from 1994 to 1999 when Davis was editing the fanzines, Slanted and Held Like Sound. The collection contains concert photographs taken by Davis, fliers advertising punk concerts that Davis collected, ephemera related to D.C. punk culture, and posters mostly related to his career as a musician.

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D.C. punk collection

The D.C. punk collection covers the period from 1981-2021; the bulk of the materials date from 1983-1987. The collection includes fliers, posters, recordings, photographs and ephemera related to the punk rock subculture in the Washington, D.C. area, which developed in the late 1970s.

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D.C. punk and indie fanzine collection

The D.C. punk and indie fanzine collection (DCPIFC) seeks to document the variety of publications that were created by fans of and participants in the punk and indie music scenes that have thrived in the Washington, D.C.-area since the late 1970s. The DCPIFC contains fanzines - publications produced by enthusiasts, generally in small runs - created by members of the D.C. punk and indie music communities, as well as fanzines from outside of D.C. that include coverage of D.C. punk and indie music. The collection includes primarily paper fanzines, but it also includes born digital fanzines and digitized files of some paper fanzine materials.

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Jason Farrell collection

Jason Farrell (b. December 24, 1969) is a musician, graphic designer, and filmmaker who currently lives in Los Angeles, CA., but also spent several decades as a part of the punk music subculture in the Washington, D.C. area. The Jason Farrell collection contains items that span the years 1985 to 2007; the bulk of the materials date from 1987 to 1998 when Farrell was a member of the bands Swiz and, later, Bluetip. The materials in this collection primarily consist of show fliers and posters that Farrell designed for his bands.

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Skip Groff papers

Frank “Skip” Groff [1948-2019] was a record producer, record store owner, disc jockey, United States Army veteran, and record promoter who was a primary figure in the Washington, D.C. area punk scene in the 1970s and 1980s. The Skip Groff papers includes recordings related to Groff’s career as a disc jockey and record store owner, photographs, correspondence, ephemera, magazines, clippings, and an oral history interview with Groff.

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Don Hamerman collection of performing arts photography

Don Hamerman (b.1954) is a commercial photographer based out of Stamford, Connecticut. Hamerman was a staff photographer for Unicorn Times from 1978-1980, a monthly performing arts periodical from Washington, D.C. Known for his collection "My Found Baseballs," Hamerman’s work has been featured in publications such as Time’s “Lightbox,” NPR’s “Picture Show”, and periodicals such as New York, Elle, Smithsonian Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal.

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Tommy Keene papers

Tommy Keene (b. June 30, 1958, Evanston, Illinois – d. November 22, 2017, Los Angeles, California) was an American musician and songwriter. Raised in Bethesda, Maryland, Keene was immersed in rock music from a young age as a fan and, by his teenage years, as a musician in bands around the Washington, D.C. area. Starting his music career as a member of the bands Blue Steel, the Rage and, most notably, the Razz, Keene eventually embarked on a solo career in the early 1980s that led him to sign with Geffen Records, for which he released two crticially acclaimed albums — 1986's Songs From the Film and 1989's Based on Happy Times. Keene also worked with Matador Records, Alias Records, and numerous other independent labels. The Tommy Keene papers include personal and professional papers, photographs, fliers, ephemera, publications, recordings, and realia. The dates for the materials range from 1966 to 2003, with the bulk of the materials coming from 1975-1993.

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Shawna Kenney collection on punk and alternative rock

Shawna Kenney (b. 1969) is an author and instructor who was active as a concert promoter in the Washington, D.C. punk subculture of the late 1980s and early 1990s. She also co-edited and published the fanzine No Scene with Pam Gendell from 1986 through 1988, which features interviews with punk bands and reviews of concerts and recordings. Along with Gendell, Kenney promoted concerts at the Safari Club in Washington, D.C., helping to build a second wave of hardcore punk within D.C.'s punk scene in the late 1980s. Her books include 2017's Live at the Safari Club : A history of hardcore punk in the Nation's Capital, 1988-1998, co-authored with Rich Dolinger, and her award-winning 1999 memoir, I Was a Teenage Dominatrix. The Shawna Kenney collection on punk and alternative rock consists of 0.5 linear feet of fliers, photographs, recordings, and publications. Most of the fliers were used to promote concerts that Kenney organized in the Washington, D.C. area in the late 1980s. The other materials in the collection generally relate to the broader punk and alternative rock communities of the 1990s and early 2000s.

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The Nitrate Hymnal collection

Billed as a post-punk opera, The Nitrate Hymnal was developed by musician Robert Massey, who was inspired by his family films. It was produced by Anti-Social Music, co-commissioned by the Washington Performing Arts Society, and funded by grants from Creative Capital and the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities. This collection includes Massey’s extensive notes, illustrating the production process. It also includes his family videos, production notes, audio recordings, grant information, and a filmed performance from the January 2003 four-day run at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Auditorium.

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Kevin Salk collection of DC punk photography

Kevin Salk is an American photographer who was active in the first half of the 1980s and again in the 2020s. The subject of Salk's photography was generally the American hardcore punk subculture in Southern California. The materials in this collection consist of prints of Salk's photographs of the Washington, D.C. hardcore punk band Minor Threat, as well as a signed copy of Salk's 2021 book, Punk: Photos From a Fan's Perspective. The photographs in this collection were created from 1982-1983.

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Kurt Sayenga collection

Kurt Sayenga [b. 1961] is a director, writer, producer, artist, and graphic designer who was also the editor and publisher of Greed fanzine from 1985 to 1989. This collection contains materials created by Sayenga related to the production and promotion of Greed.

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Michael Schreibman papers

Michael Schreibman is a concert promoter from the Washington, DC area who was active from the mid-1960s until the 2010s. The Michael Schreibman papers contain files related to concerts and events that Schreibman promoted from 1970 through 2001. The papers also contain posters commissioned by Schreibman to advertise events he promoted from 1970 through 1987.

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Robbie White collection on the Slickee Boys

Robbie White is a disc jockey and music enthusiast who served as the fan club president and roadie for the Slickee Boys -- a band that was active from 1976 to 1991 and was one of the founding bands of the Washington, D.C. punk rock and new wave subculture. White collected numerous fliers, posters, and photographs related to the Slickee Boys, some of which are found in this collection. The collection consists of physical objects that White donated, as well as some digitized versions of physical objects from White's collection that were not a part of the gift to Special Collections in Performing Arts.