The Detroit Sound Consortium is a potential project of the Detroit Sound Conservancy begun in May 2013 based on the idea that no one organization, no matter how big or well financed, can "save" Detroit music archives or potential archives. In order to adequately preserve Detroit music history and make it accessible to researchers and the widest possible public many organizations within the region will have to work together. We do not see this group as a utopian vision but instead a sober, realist, understanding of where the history of "Detroit sound" is now.

Consortium Objectives

Inspired by the Black Metropolis Research Consortium in Chicago, the goal of this consortium would be to bring both private and public organizations with significant archives in the history of Detroit music to improve the region's capacity to narrate Detroit's importance to global music.

Again, sampling from the BMRC, the Detroit Sound Consortium would:

  • improve public awareness of collections related to the study of Detroit music culture and history that have limited or no means of access by research communities;
  • improve research access through expanded, integrated, and networked cataloging and searching programs that will build on an assessment of the preservation, processing, and other access needs of DSC members’ holdings;
  • serve as a means of outreach to members who are the custodians of at-risk manuscript and archival materials;
  • provide a working system in which processing, access, appraisal, and metadata problems can be investigated and where different solutions can be tested and refined;
  • provide the DSC membership with a set of “ best practice” recommendations for the arrangement and description of each collection, all of which will be required for inclusion in the consortium’s digital finding aid portal;
  • expand the DSC’s role as a facilitator of enriching Detroit music resources;
  • and allow the DSC to establish through purpose and assessment the value that Detroit music resources have within the Detroit community.

In addition, the Detroit Sound Consortium would

  • help identify fundraising, programming, and marketing opportunities for member organizations.


Previous Successes and Models to Build On



  • how-to preserve audio recordings (including analog tape, cassette tapes, vinyl, etc.)
  • how-to conduct oral histories
  • how-to donate collections



National and International Potential Allies


Potential Grants and Fundraising Opportunities


List of Organizations with Potential Interests in Detroit Sound Preservation and Conservation


Pages tagged “sound consortium”