EO: Do the artifacts themselves have meaning, or are they more important for
the memories they generate?
JH: It's a combination of both. Certainly many of the artifacts — especially things like handwritten lyrics, correspondence, memos, etc. — are very valuable historical documents. Once we get our library open, we hope to make these kinds of materials available to researchers and writers who are documenting the history of rock and roll. But we've attempted to make the museum a place where everyone from the most casual rock fan to the most avid rock historian can have a satisfying experience, and I think we've been pretty successful in doing that. Certainly, a lot of our visitors come here to go back to their youth and revive memories of their favorite rock artists. But more avid rock fans can also discover a lot of history here that they may not have been aware of.
EO: Any big future plans for the Rock Hall?
JH: As I said, aside from upcoming exhibits, we hope to be able to raise the money to build a library and archives as well as some temporary exhibit space. Time will tell. Obviously, the economy has made it tough to raise money. And being a non-profit, we must rely on donations from corporations and foundations, as well as the general public. I hope the expansion will become a reality because it will enable us to move up to the next level.
EO: The Rock Hall has been open 7 years now - would you have done anything
JH: The one thing we have to deal with is the building. It's a beautiful building and a landmark for the city of Cleveland. However, it has its problems as a museum. For one thing, the amount of natural light that comes in through the glass pyramid makes it tough, if not impossible, to display artiacts in the more public areas. Also, there was no flexible temporary exhibit space in the original design, so we've had to take other areas and adapt them for our temporary exhibit. But overall I'm pretty happy with the way things have gone.