CLEVELAND - The new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Archives were officially dedicated during a ceremony on Monday.
The library, which is a new addition to Cuyahoga Community College's Metropolitan Campus, is a research facility for all of those interested in the history of rock.
"At the museum, down by the lake, we celebrate this art form. It's a lot of fun. A lot of people get excited about it. It's entertainment for a lot of people," said vice president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Todd Mesek. "But we also want to remind people that this is an art form. If you look at some of the most important dialogues that have happened in our culture: Civil rights, Vietnam, the last few presidential elections, rock ‘n' roll is a reflection of that and in some ways a document of our history."
That's why the concept of a library and archives had been high on the wish list of those behind the Rock Hall since before the museum itself opened. "It's just another one of those stakes in the ground that says Cleveland's the place to come if you want to learn about the history of music," said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Vice President of Education Lauren Onkey.
Visitors can browse hand-written lyrics, business letters and contracts that helped shape rock music.
"We believe that in a hundred years when people want to look at our culture that someone has to preserve it," Mesek said. "Writers, students from around the world can come here to learn about the history… We're documenting the entire history right here in this building."
"We think it's an important history. We think it's the equivalent of Mozart's piano," Mesek said. "We want to preserve that for history. We want to make sure that doesn't fade away."
That's why those behind the Rock Hall believe this place will become a tourist attraction of its own. "It'll bring a lot of different people," said Rock Hall Chairman Bill Rowley because the people that come into see the museum will be in many cases different from those who just want to see the museum. "So it opens up to a whole new deal, the educators will now spend time here because we have what they've always wanted," said Rowley.
The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is on Saturday at Public Hall. The event is open to the public, but tickets are sold out.