The Janis Ian Archives Fund
The Janis Ian Archives are a unique resource for music history research, offering unfettered access to Ian’s publishing, recording, and live performance contracts, copyright paperwork, financial negotiations, and tax returns. Beginning with her grandparents’ immigration papers, circa 1916, the Archives will follow the journey of Ian’s 1937 Martin D-18 guitar, chronicle the HUAC years with insights into her parents’ FBI files (and what FBI surveillance cost Ian’s family over the decades), and then travel through the civil rights, women’s, and LGBTQ movements. Visitors to the Archives can view Janis Ian’s correspondence with other musical artists, famous friends, and collaborators, as well as flip through song notebooks, diaries, and a journal that includes Ian’s first poem, written at age ten.
Ongoing support is needed to preserve, catalog, and periodically display the priceless items housed in this vital one-of-a-kind resource. Unlike most archives, this resource is open for professionals and non-professionals alike. While many artists have received significant amounts of money for turning over their archives, The Janis Ian Archives are entirely different – Ian’s belief in Berea College is so strong that she has donated all materials without compensation. Her only stipulation is that records remain open to the public, not just scholars and Ph.D. candidates.
Celebrating a Lifetime in Music
The Janis Ian Archives, opening in late 2023, will offer a unique behind-the-curtain-view of the music industry, beginning in the mid-1960’s, when Janis was a young teen. The Archives will provide a record of her spectacular rise in popularity, sold-out concerts (domestic and international), relevance through the decades and negotiations with record companies — as well as career setbacks. Janis is a prolific singer-songwriter and feminist icon; her songs are known for their social significance and speak volumes to fans, including her half-million Facebook followers. She has won two Grammy awards, one in 1975 for “At Seventeen” and the second in 2013, in the Best Spoken Word category for her autobiography, “Society’s Child.” She has received a total of ten nominations in eight different categories. Janis will complete a farewell tour throughout 2022-2023.
“I played an album a lot in one of those bad years – a couple of those bad years. In those years – I’m thinking of ’75 and ’76 – there was the Bicentennial and my awkward attempts at relevance. The album was by Janis Ian [Between the Lines] and it played and it played and I listened and I could hear the storyteller and the great singer, and I could sense pages turning and lives changing, and there was fog in the distance.
She had fog in her stories – much had been created and much was being shared – but the fog didn’t make it to my shores, although it made it to my heart.
It’s a remarkable album – one of the many albums I destroyed from overuse. The album popped and crackled and skipped, but I kept it dropping and re-playing, and it was a marvel. Play it. Play it a lot. There are stories and women in there.” – Tennessee Williams
How to Get Involved:
Support The Janis Ian Archives through the fund or
contact Teresa Kash Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-985-3132 with questions regarding monetary and non-monetary contributions to The Janis Ian Archives.
If you wish to donate via personal check, please include “The Janis Ian Archives Fund” in the memo line, and mail to:
Berea, KY 40404