A rare record collection goes to Stax Museum of American Soul Music

The Memphis music institution keeps growing

According to Rolling Stone, the Stax Museum of Soul Music has recently acquired a very important collection of soul records. The collection came from Chicago music historian Bob Abrahamian. Not only does it include more than 35,000 singles and albums, but also memorabilia and photography. Most of the collection is focused on lesser known Chicago soul artists.

In a statement, journalist Jake Austin said this about Abrahamian: “while his obsession with discovering and coveting impossibly rare records was typical of many high-end collectors, his dedication to telling the stories of the men and women behind these sweet soul records, and the kindness he showed to these unjustly obscure cultural heroes, was something special.”

“His record collection is worth a great deal of money, but the work he did to document Chicago R&B and giving its practitioners the reverence and dignity they deserved was priceless.”

According to the museum’s Director of Collections and Exhibitions Raka Nandi, the museum is in the process of “studying why and how Bob Abrahamian amassed such a vast collection and how he became such a public, outspoken advocate of these artists. The museum will eventually display highlights of the collection as part of the exhibit offerings, and will also make the archive available to researchers and scholars.”

Rolling Stone adds that “Abrahamian started his collecting in the ’90s, which turned into a lifelong project of documenting the less-known soul and R&B artists of ’60s Chicago. Abrahamian died at the age of 35 in 2014.”

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