Curb Archives

Preservation is central to the mission of the Curb Institute. Only through understanding the past can we better understand our own times and prepare for the future. Students working with the Curb Institute have done great work in archiving and collecting oral histories from a variety of sources to better understand the Memphis music story.

The institute works with other programs initiatives on campus to further these efforts, including:

  1. Crossroads to Freedom Digital Archive (

  2. The Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies (

  3. Rhodes Radio: The Curb Institute hosts a radio segment on Rhodes Radio that explores different topics in Memphis Music History (

  4. Curb YouTube channel (

  5. Memphis Music Preservation and Research 

    1. Research Projects: Research and archival work in the Curb Institute celebrates the aspects of Memphis music that have gone unrecognized. Some examples of projects and research students have done are: 

      1. Jazz Traditions from Memphis 

      2. The Rich Musical Traditions of African American in Memphis such as the Manassas High School

      3. Research on the Stax Records and Soulsville

      4. Research on High Records 

      5. Authenticity in Blues Festivals 

      6. Memphis Hip Hop 

      7. The History of 1034 Audobon Drive, Elvis's First Purchased Home in Memphis 

    2. Curb Archives

      1. The Curb Archives hosts collections of documents, interviews, tapes, and publications relating to the history of Memphis music that have been either gifted to the Institute or are being processed in collaboration with other organizations. The goal of these collections is to document the history of Memphis music and make it available for research, academic, or general purposes. The Curb Institute works closely with the Digital Preservation Society on campus to process these collections and make them available through the Barret Library for public access. Two featured collections, The Memphis Star and the Stax Oral Histories, are being processed and prepared to be be uploaded to the digital archive for public access through the library website. The Memphis Star is a music industry magazine publication that ran from the 1980s through the 1990s. The Stax Oral Histories is a collection of tapes from previous Stax artists or Stax affiliates who are sharing their stories on how they came to be associated with Stax and what Memphis music means to them. 

Past events dedicated to the preservation of Memphis music: 

Beale Street History 

Women in Hip Hop 

Stories of Southern Music 

Chitlin' Circuit