The State Hornet

Sac State library celebrates donation of thousands of vintage concert posters

Over 3,000 items of local concert memorabilia dating back to the 1950s

Advertisement+of+Fleetwood+Mac+performing+at+UC+Davis.+The+Sacramento+State+Special+Collections+and+University+Archives+will+be+home+to+Dennis+Newhall%27s+collection+of+over+3%2C000+concert+posters%2C+ticket+stubs+and+newspaper+articles.
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Sac State library celebrates donation of thousands of vintage concert posters

Advertisement of Fleetwood Mac performing at UC Davis. The Sacramento State Special Collections and University Archives will be home to Dennis Newhall's collection of over 3,000 concert posters, ticket stubs and newspaper articles.

Advertisement of Fleetwood Mac performing at UC Davis. The Sacramento State Special Collections and University Archives will be home to Dennis Newhall's collection of over 3,000 concert posters, ticket stubs and newspaper articles.

Jordan Silva-Benham - The State Hornet

Advertisement of Fleetwood Mac performing at UC Davis. The Sacramento State Special Collections and University Archives will be home to Dennis Newhall's collection of over 3,000 concert posters, ticket stubs and newspaper articles.

Jordan Silva-Benham - The State Hornet

Jordan Silva-Benham - The State Hornet

Advertisement of Fleetwood Mac performing at UC Davis. The Sacramento State Special Collections and University Archives will be home to Dennis Newhall's collection of over 3,000 concert posters, ticket stubs and newspaper articles.

Jordan Silva-Benham

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Throughout high school, Sacramento native Dennis Newhall began covering his walls with local concert posters. Over 50 years later, his collection features over 3,000 posters, newspaper articles and ticket stubs.

Newhall’s collection will be featured on Wednesday at 4 p.m. as the “Sacramento Rock and Radio Collection” in the Gerth Special Collections and University Archives located in the south side of the library.

Newhall, who has worked at various radio stations throughout Sacramento, beginning at KERS,  said his collection is a never-ending story.

“It tells a story of a certain era of Sacramento, which keeps going,” Newhall said. “It starts in the 1950s and it goes to tomorrow.”

The memorabilia featured include artists like The Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Talking Heads and Fleetwood Mac.

Jordan Silva-Benham – The State Hornet
The Kinks at performing at UC Davis. The Sacramento State Special Collections and University Archives will be home to Dennis Newhall’s poster collection.

James Fox, the head of special collections and university archives, said there isn’t a collection as unique as Newhall’s.

“There is no other collection like this anywhere in the world for any city, we have our whole cities’ concert posters,” Fox said. “We may not have every single one, but we’re striving and we have a lot.”

Gerth Special Collections currently has 700 of Newhall’s collection, but will eventually hold all 3,000 of them.

According to Newhall, his collection started growing when he was working at the Ray Nakamoto Productions’ audio studio in the late 1990s, formerly located on 20th and I streets in midtown Sacramento. Newhall went out to find the posters, and Nakamoto funded the framing.

Eventually the studio became the home of the Sacramento Rock and Radio Museum.

Jordan Silva-Benham – The State Hornet
A local newspaper advertising the Beach Boys playing in Sacramento. Sacramento State Special Collections and University Archives will be the new home for posters, ticket stubs and newspaper cut outs.

Amy Kautzman, dean and director of the university’s library, wanted Sacramento State to be the new home for Newhall’s collection and put Fox on the case.

Fox said the exhibit is important to him because the special collections part of the library does not have a lot of collections on popular culture.

“In special collections we have a lot of fabulous material, but to be honest, we don’t have a lot of popular culture collection,” Fox said. “This is a very focused popular culture collection and we can learn as much about ourselves from popular culture as we can by reading Shakespeare or Freud or whoever you’re reading.”

Newhall, Fox and Kautzman negotiated the terms of the donation in which the posters began trickling into Sac State over the summer of 2018.

Newhall said he’s satisfied with his collection’s new home.

“Not only will there be people to work on the collection, but they have the stuff to preserve it,” Newhall said.

Newhall said he was afraid of what would happen to his collection after he died so he decided to donate it to Sac State.

“You see it all the time when millionaires die, their heirs don’t want it,” Newhall said. “This collection will be able to tell a story whether I’m here or not.”

Aside from the celebration on February 13, Special Collections plans on displaying the collection at a variety of exhibits throughout the Sacramento area.

Jordan Silva-Benham – The State Hornet
The Talking Heads performing at UC Davis. The Sacramento State Special Collections and University Archives has received a donation of 3,000 concert posters, ticket stubs and newspaper articles dating have to the ’50s.

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