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Explore Milwaukee Music History through the Digital Concert Poster Collection

By MPL Staff on Apr 22, 2020 8:22 AM

When it comes to our digital collections, we provide a variety of looks into local history through photos and other historical ephemera so you can see the first hand documentation of Milwaukee's past.

The Wisconsin Concert Poster Digital Collection is one of the crown jewels of our digital resources, because it reflects a unique look into Milwaukee's music scene of the 1980s, through the posters that were stapled around town advertising these events. Most of these posters are for punk shows, and the aesthetics of these posters are a real experience.

They also reflect important city history through the various venues advertised. For instance, the poster above advertises a show at the Lost Dutchman Mine, which was the basement bar in the legendary Sydney Hih.

We even have a poster for a Dead Kennedys concert at the 'Top of the Hill' venue, which is the building that is now our Mitchell Street library!

This important collection also covers a variety of local bands, from Milwaukee greats the Violent Femmes (featuring former 1981-1982 MPL student worker Brian Ritchie), to local superstars like Snopek and The Black Holes.

You definitely want to browse through these amazing posters to admire the variety of hand-drawn artwork and the wild punk collage work. To really add to the mood, why not check out some Violent Femmes music on Hoopla or hit up YouTube for the greatest Snopek track of all time?

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