Before Facebook (and even before Myspace)…

…bands used to use flyers to hand out to people to generate interest in their shows. These flyers were usualy hand-drawn or cut-n-paste designs (out of varying quality), photocopied and guillotined to within an inch of their lives. The front desks of local record stores and music-friendly pubs/bars would be littered with numerous flyers.

As a patron of local music venues and also as a collector of all things DIY, I have amassed a sizeable collection of band flyers over the years from all over the world. In a recent rummage through my boxes of stuff, looking for an elusive pamphlet, I found that I had a pile of flyers from the Adelaide music scene, with around 50 different flyers in total. These span from 2001 (the earliest being a flyer for Chickenstock at Allure with St Albans Kids and Circle of Destruction) through to about 2008 (with flyers for No Through Road and Aviator Lane).

Rather than let these flyers just sit in a dark box somewhere, I am thinking about creating an online archive of these flyers to record a particular time in Adelaide’s cultural history, using ephemera that would have usually been just thrown away. What I need is someone to tell me the practicalities of pursuing this project. What is the best way to digitise these flyers? Can I just use a scanner or should I take photos of each flyer? Can I just use a wordpress page to host this archive? Or would tumblr be better? Any advice or suggestions would be very welcome.


  1. Howdy Hatful,

    This is very interesting, and very topical as many of those flyers would have featured shows at the soon to move Jade Monkey
    I wonder if the State Library of SA would be interested in helping out – they collect CDs of local Adelaide music output. Your ideas are good too – I guess the thing would be to scan or photograph and then save/back up in such a way that it was preservationally sound and didn’t have to be done again at some time – there are some ideas here

  2. Hi Leigh,

    Thanks for the tips. I’ll ave a look at the link as well.

    Is there someone specific that you think would be helpful to contact at the State Library?

    Also, this could be much biger than my collection. I’m sure many other people around town have flyers kept in boxes and drawers that could form part of a bigger collection.

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