How We Help

We work with artists, collectors, archives and estates to identify, preserve and share their work and collections - and the stories behind them.


Sometimes, you just need ideas, information or someone to get you started. Or, you want to use our knowledge networks to help with finding info on people and places. Get in touch, through email or our social media, and we'll see what we can do to support your archival efforts. 


While many collectors have digitized their collections, not many are able or interested in the more tedious aspects of deeper tagging. Some folks just have boxes or file folders of unlabeled stuff that needs to be gone through and tamed. We're working to make this easier through automated services and other technological solutions - or, just coming to help go through boxes and figure out what to do next. 


We encourage people to share their recollections and stories with us - and one another. Conversations and shared intervies - recorded as audio or video - help preserve different details and points of view for a full-spectrum, DI-Ourselves history of music, friendships and creative culture. 


This program focuses on supporting - often at no cost - museum-level preservation and digitization of film, early digital audio and video formats, photographic negatives and other recorded media. 


It isn't always a catastrophic change that impacts holdings - sometimes, it's as simple as a need to move things quickly, or a lack of knowldge about what something might be or be used for. We help in times of crisis (which sort of seems like all the time these days) and in better times. 


We may not want to think about it, but we're not getting any younger. What do you want done with your stuff? We can kickstart those conversations, so your plans are clear to your friends and family, and your creative legacy and personal collections can be preserved and shared the way you want.

What do you need help with?

Flyers, Posters, Setlists, Zines & other Printed

This is a big category, that boils down to: is it on Paper? If so, the archival approach depends on the purpose (is it a show flyer, an advertisement, etc), or whether it is original art, part of the publishing process (proofs, mockups, collage parts) or a publication, like a zine or comic book. We have a deep focus on the technical processes behind record covers, flyers and posters of the pre- and emerging-Digital age, and are working with artists to document items from silk-screened t-shirts to large-format letterpress posters.

Film & Video

With most early Punk footage nearing 50, it is critical that we support the conversion of fragile commercial and home films, video and digital formats to high-resolution Digital files. Beyond preservation, we work with filmers to capture details of their process, tools and memories - so all aspects of their contribution to the moving record of a time and place are connected to their footage. We also provide support through editing, creating viewable copies, and drawing attention to footage so people, places and performances can be identified.


This is a deceptively huge, multi-level category - from professional to personal to found collections. As a critical key to evoking Punk's cultural memory, we work in-depth to organize, identify, tag, catalogue, digitize and secure Punk photography for personal, archival and commercial use. Usually, we work with: - tracking and making usable the chain between negatives, slides, undeveloped rolls and other original film and the related contact sheets, proofs, duplicates, variations and prints - consolidating photographer notes and documents; attaching meaning and identifying people and moments in the image - locating published works, and securing copyright and credit Given the interest and marketability of Punk's visual record, we also create datasets and catalogues that help photographers sell and publish their work, while maintaining the integrity of their archive now and in the future.

Original Recordings: Live Tapes, Demos, Multitracks and more

While we don't do much with mass-releases (as we know, there are plenty of Punk record enthusiasts) we do help archive, preserve, digitize and collect memories and stories behind - board tapes and live show recordings - multitrack tapes, digital files on outdated software, and other recordings - vinyl test pressings Our extensive cataloguing systems are helping build a data-visualization of shows, critical recordings and studios - built by sharing tapes, passion and info, just like before.

Journals, Sketchbooks and Correspondence

This often-intimate category includes personal journals and datebooks, artist notebooks (like lyrics, poetry) and sketchbooks, and letters, postcards and other correspondence. We treat these with a great deal of care and confidentiality, while ensuring the culturally-relevant materials they contain are uplifted and made usable for historical research and knowledge-building. Some common needs for these written materials include scanning, transcribing, annotating and cross-referencing passages, along with tagging names, bands, places and moments to help "findability" and include a diversity of voices in the story of American Punk.

Process and Production Materials

While they may cross over with other categories, these are "the things that make the thing" - the parts of a somewhat linear process of creating a printed or recorded object, like: - silk screens, press type, transparencies, bluelines and other pre-digital graphic design materials - studies, sketches, design notes, drawings, cartoons - original collages, cutouts and flyer "masters" - layouts, proofs and other parts of analogue and digital publishing and printing - original interview tapes and unpublished interviews, transcripts, notes for articles and such We're thrilled to be working on two Case Studies capturing the "making of" some of Punk's most enduring visuals. Stay tuned!

T-shirts, Pins and Other Fashion

From DIY shirts and jackets to accessories and costumes, we research, photograph and support physical stabilization of Punk's most-visible (and perhaps misunderstood) social artifacts.

Paintings and Original Art

Punk Art crosses over a lot of different categories, but we include it as a separate area so we can use the documentation and preservation processes most common to the contemporary and traditional art world. (By the way, we don't have a Case Study for this category yet, so we welcome Punk and DIY artists working in painting, sculpture, Digital art, etc. to get in touch - we'd love to help document your work.)

One-of-a-Kind Artifacts and Objects

From the guitar pedal used on a landmark recording to the props or stylings in iconic photos or performances, we take a relaxed-but-museum-like approach to singular objects - photographing, documenting and designing preservation solutions to one-of-a-kind pieces.

Capturing Stories and Knowledge

This is the most important one, so we saved it for last. Using a host of great ideas from across education, cultural heritage and folkloric practices, broadcast media, digital storytelling and more, we're designing tools and simple prompts for grabbing stories, memories and knowledge - and scaling it so others can add to them, especially where we can fill in gaps or add perspective. While we work on those, we are (and will continue to talk to people via Zoom or Google Voice, so we can record interviews and conversations until we can be together again.


Our collaborative approach and buffet-style support helps creators, curators and studios develop systems to confidently manage and maintain the works they have created or steward.


inventory, organize and stabilize creative works, artifacts and ephemera, as well as tools, tapes, instruments and other production materials.


 design and produce catalogues, books, music releases, interactive digital experiences and public events, performances, salons and exhibitions.


uncover and capture the personal stories and cultural narratives of objects, processes and people, to provide context and preserve memory.


shepherd placements in academic or public institutions, sales to private collectors, and transfers amongst family and friends.


create digital packages, guides, documentation and other resources to protect and manage personal collections & creative legacies.


 encourage legal, creative reuse by artists, designers and curators to produce new work in response to collections, as well as licensing,  creative synch and learning materials.

We could write a lot more, but sometimes it's just easier just to talk it through. Feel free to connect via email and we'll take it from there.