Austin History Center

SXSW, Inc. Records

An Inventory to the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: SXSW, Inc.
Title: SXSW, Inc. Records
Inclusive Dates: 1986-2016
Bulk Dates: 1997-2010
Abstract: SXSW, Inc. began in 1986, as a regional music conference. This collection includes conference correspondence, office policies, directories and memorabilia, economic impact studies, posters, photographs and audio recordings.
Identification: AR.2010.029
Quantity: 0.6 linear feet (2 boxes)
Location: Archives Stacks, Compact Shelving, Oversized Archives
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Administrative History

Inspired by attending the New Music Seminar in 1986, Roland Swenson, Louis Jay Meyers, Louis Black, and Nick Barbaro decide to launch the SXSW Music and Media conference in Austin, Texas in 1987. Starting as a small, regional conference SXSW has grown over the years, adding the SXSW Film and Media Festival in 1994, and the SXSW Multimedia Festival in 1995, renamed the Interactive Festival in 1998. SXSW is now known as an international event in Austin, with an economic impact of $167 million generated in the city in 2011.

Scope and Contents

SXSW, Inc. began in 1986, as a regional music conference and has evolved into the international, multi-million dollar music, film and interactive conferences that make up SXSW today. This collection is a composite of documents, print materials and recordings generated by SXSW over its 25 years of existence. The collection is divided into four series: Textual Materials, Photographs, Posters, and Recordings.

The first series, Textual Materials, includes New Music Seminar documents and conference correspondence from the early years, two office manuals, a collection of memorabilia for conference attendees, economic impact studies from 2007-2016, Best of Press clippings from 1999-2009, Van Morrison's contract and rider agreements from 2008, copies of the SXSW trademark registration paperwork and the SXSWSUX manifesto.

The Photographs series consists of photocopies of a selection of images taken by various photographers and attendees. These include photos of performances, panels, staff, and conference attendees.

The third series, Posters, consists of SXSW posters from 1986-2016 including Music, Film and Interactive (formerly Multimedia), Austin Music Award posters, North By Northeast and NXNW posters, and Flatstock posters.

Finally, Audio Recordings is comprised of five CDs of acts performing at the earlier conferences in the convention center, recorded between 1992 and 1997.

I. Textual Materials
II. Photographs
III. Posters
IV. Recordings

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Barbaro, Nick.
Black, Louis.
Meyers, Louis J.
Sheehan, Bruce.
Swenson, Roland.
Ward, Ed.
Austin Chronicle, Inc.
SXSW, Inc. (Austin, Tex.).
New Music Seminar (New York, N.Y.).
Austin (Tex.).
New York, N.Y.
Austin Music Awards.
Music festivals--Texas--Austin.
Music trade--Texas--Austin.
New Music Seminar (New York, N.Y.).
SXSW Music and Media Conference (Austin, Tex.).
Document Types:
Financial documents
Legal documents
Office handbooks

Related Material

AF Files

  • AF - South by Southwest Conference and Festivals (General) F1000
  • AF - South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival F1000 (2)
  • AF - South by Southwest Multimedia/Interactive Festival F1000 (3)
  • AF - South by Southwest Music and Media Conference and Festival F1000 (1)

Biography Files

  • AF - Biography - Black, Louis
  • AF - Biography - Hamblin, Tim
  • AF - Biography - Meyers, Louis Jay
  • AF - Biography - Swenson, Roland
  • AF - Biography - Ward, Ed


  • AR.2010.030 5X5Y Exhibit Collection
  • AR.2004.010 Nels Jacobson Papers
  • AR.2011.003 Bruce Sheehan Papers
  • AR.2001.006 Tim Hamblin Papers
  • AR.2011.020 Martha Grenon Photograph Collection
  • AR.2011.XXX David Fox Photograph Collection

General Collection

  • A 780.9764 SX Blackstock, Peter. SXSW Scrapbook: People and Things That Went Before. Austin, Tex.: Essex Press, 2011.


  • South By Southwest Music and Media Festival Directories: Film (1999 - 2006), Interactive (1999 - 2006, lacking 2002), Music (1990 - 1996, lacking 1993; 1999 - 2007, lacking 2000 and 2003), and Gaming (2013).


  • qAR - FF 3/2/002. Flatstock #2, 2003.
  • qAR - FF 01/17/019. Flatstock #12, 2007.
  • qAR Box 048/105. Flatstock #16, 2011.
  • qAR Box 048/104. Flatstock #16, 2011.
  • qAR box 064/053. Flatstock No. 43, 2014
  • qAR Box 12/7. SXSW 1990.
  • qAR Box 049/047. 2006 Yaris show, 2006.

Recordings Collection

  • A DVD 782.42166 SX Dudynsky, Ivan. SXSW Live 2007 [videorecording]. Los Angeles, Cal.: Shout Factory, 2007.

Separated Material

General Collection

  • A 781.642 HI Hinton, Brian. South by South West: A Road Map to an Alternative Country. Los Angeles, London: Sanctuary, c2003.


  • SXSW Preview: March 12-21, 2004; March 11-20, 2005; March 10-19, 2006.
  • SXSW World: Volume 1, issues 1-4 (2006-2007); volume 2, issues 1, 3 (2007-2008); volume 3, issue 3 (2009); volume 4, issues 3, 4 (2010); volume 5, issues 1, 2 (2010-2011).


  • Duplicate SXSW Music, Film and Interactive directories and memorabilia.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The collection was donated in 2010 by SXSW, Inc.

Preferred Citation

SXSW, Inc. Records (AR.2010.029). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2006/089

Donation Date: 12/2010

Processing Information

Initial inventory and preliminary processing: Tim Hamblin/2010. Final processing and finding aid: Samantha Deskins and Tim Hamblin/2011. Finding aid encoded by Ashley Adair/2011. Materials added and finding aid updated by Molly Hults/2014.


Materials will be added to this collection on a yearly basis.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Text Materials, ca. 1986-2016

Box Folder
1 1 New Music Seminar documents, 1986-1987
2-3 Correspondence, 1987-1996
4 Economic impact studies, 2007-2016
5 SXSWSUX, undated
6 Memorabilia, Official Party Guide, Survival Guide, Maps, Flatstock brochures, 1982-2011
7 Office handbook, 1995
8 Office procedure manual, 1999-2009
9 Best of Music Press, 1999-2009
10 Van Morrison performance contract, 2008
11 Registered Trademark paperwork, 1997, 1999
12 SXSW Pre-Conference volunteer handbook, 1998
13 SXSW Conference Pocket Guides (8): Music, Film and Interactive, 1998-2013
14 SXSW artist and music wristbands (12), 2005-2011
15 Assorted laminates (23), 1986-2012
16 SXSW Registrant paperwork and forms, 2000
Box Folder
2 1-2 SXSW mail marketing materials, 2001-2010

Photographs, 1987-2010

Box Folder
2 3 SXSW Photo Collection (photocopies), 1987-2010

Posters, 1987-2011

Location BoxItem
qAR 04/02/003 SXSW, NXNW, and NXNE posters (38 in total), 1987-2016

Recordings, 1993-1997

2 SXSW Live, Volume 1-5, 1993-1997