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Glowsticks, Acid and the Post-Modern Matrix. An Archive of Rave and Club Culture

On the occasion the 20-year anniversary of the Love Parade, Sean Nye from the Berlin Archive Youth Cultures together with Professor Ronald Hitzler from the techno archive at the Technical University Dortmund are pleased to announce an initiative during 2009, to expand and centralize their collection in Berlin.


Rave and club culture has existed for more than two decades. It has long since moved out of the subcultural shadows of the basement and warehouse raves and has since become a global phenomenon. Although its exciting history constantly grows in complexity, there still exists no central archive, where the development and history of the scene is documented and preserved. The goal of the archive is to establish a central collection for scholarly research on the history of the scene, which will be made public and accessible as a meeting point for researchers, journalists, musicians, fans and other interested parties. In this regard, the focus of the archive is not only techno, as the most popular and general genre for electronic dance music. Rather, we seek to document the entire history and variety of electronic dance music with its various subscenes and genres: House, Trance, Drum & Bass, Electro, Gabber, IDM, Industrial, EBM, Goa and much more.


The collection already consists of more than 3,000 rave and club fanzines, primarily major German fanzines (for example, Frontpage, Partysan, De:bug, Groove, Raveline, etc.). It also includes a press archive with thousands of articles from newspapers, magazines, and other print media, academic research (bachelor, master and doctoral projects), books, as well as thousands of flyers, posters and other objects. The archive has set a goal to expand this collection considerably with the help of labels, scene activists, and fans. We ask for you help through material and financial support in order to personally contribute to the construction of this archive.


For the coming year the Archive has set the following goals:

1.  The expansion of the book and fanzine collections: The collection of significant German-language and international fanzines, books, academic papers, and media articles should be completed. A list of the current book and fanzines collections can be sent upon request.

  1. The expansion of the media collections: A comprehensive collection of films and documentaries, music videos, TV-reports and concert films that deal with rave and club culture needs to be gathered. This includes recordings of radio interviews, DJ-sets and concerts, among others. Our collections of posters and flyers also needs to be expanded. A list of our current collection of video materials can be sent upon request.

  2. The development of a representative musical archive: This is the most challenging goal of the archive, and it demands the greatest support from volunteers. We call upon labels as well as collectors and private persons to participate in the construction of such a collection. Above all, donations of musical recordings are needed. We ask music labels to send copies of their future releases to the archive; available copies of major releases from back catalogues would also be much appreciated. All material forms of musical releases are included in this request: cassettes, records, CDs and other formats. Due to the enormous number of musical releases, our focus at this stage remains on a representative
    archive: that means, on releases with either a significant musical or commercial impact on the scene.

  3. To promote the archive: The archive’s work and research should be made better known through the cooperation of well-known scene personalities (artists and DJs) and institutions (media, labels and promoters). Events should not only promote the archive, but also help raise money for the development of the archive.

On account of the Archive of Youth Cultures’ lack of regular financial backing (rent, job salaries, etc), we are currently planning the founding of a general endowment, in order to secure the archive’s work for the long term. The Archive of Rave and Club Culture currently under development would be an important component of this endowment. To establish this foundation, 50.000 Euros are still in need of collection.

Tours of the archive are also possible.
More information can be found under

For an annual sum of only 48 Euros, you could support the social work and documentation that the Archive of Youth Cultures offers. You will be part of a creative and scholarly network that at the same time continues to develop a comprehensive library on the topic of youth and subcultures. As a member, you will receive an issue of the Journal of Youth Cultures as well as two books of your choice from our annual publications.

About the Archive of Youth Cultures:
The Berlin Archive of Youth Cultures (in Germany, an officially registered association) was founded in 1998. It collects – as the only institution of its kind in Europe – above all authentic documents from youth cultures themselves (fanzines, flyers, music, etc.), but also scholarly and academic papers, news reports, etc. The archive offers these free of cost for research and for public use in its 300 square-meter-large library and archive spaces. In addition, the Archive of Youth Cultures carries out its own research on youth scenes, and works with institutions, communes and associations. It offers 120 school project events and adult education services annually and publishes its own journal – Journal der Jugendkulturen (The Journal of Youth Cultures) – as well as a book series, publishing six new books annually. The Archive of Youth Cultures is in this respect always interested in obtaining appropriate documents and materials in all forms. The majority of the archive’s employees work on a volunteer basis.

About Professor Ronald Hitzler:
Professorship of General Sociology at the Technical University Dortmund. Longtime Rresearcher of youth scenes with personal specialization in the techno scene. Founder and ofi Co-editor of the volume Techno-Soziologie: Erkundungen einer Jugendkultur (Techno-Sociology: Investigations in a Youth Culture) (Opladen: Leske + Budrich, 2001). Also the founder of and co-Editor of the volume Leben in Szenen: Formern jugendlicher Vergemeinschaftung heute (Life in Scenes: Forms of Youth Socialization Today) (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2005). More information at

About Sean Nye:
PhD-Student in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society (Minors in Music and German Studies) at the University of Minnesota since 2004. DAAD-research fellow in the Popular Music Research-Centre at Humboldt University Berlin (2008-09). Research scholar in the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, Free University Berlin (2009-10). Since 2008 curator of the techno and gothic scene collections at the Archive of Youth Cultures.

Our partners include the following institutions/artists:
Ad Noiseam Records (Electronic Music Label, Berlin)
Adam X (Producer/DJ, NYC-Berlin)
Atom TM (Uwe Schmidt, Producer, Frankfurt/Santiago)
Club Transmediale, Fesitval For Adventurous Music and Related Visual Arts (Berlin)
Dense Records (Record Store, Berlin)
DJ T (House/Techno DJ, Journalist and Founder of Groove Magazine, Frankfurt/Berlin)
Groove (Fanzine, Berlin)
Hecq (IDM Producer, Berlin)
Oliver Lieb (Producer/DJ, Frankfurt)
PARTYSAN (German and International Fanzine)
Pearls Booking (DJ booking agent, Berlin)
rock‘n’popmuseum (museum for pop music history, Gronau)
Simon Reynolds (English Journalist, Author of Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture)

We appreciate any form of assistance and look forward to more official partnerships!