QPL's Digital Hip Hop Collection

After celebrating 50 years of Hip Hop with Collections of Culture: 50 Years of Hip Hop Inside Libraries, Museums and Archives, QPL's Digital Archives has created our new Hip Hop Collection.

Our digital Collection curates local and national knowledge to showcase the history and culture of Hip Hop, including pictures and videos from important past events, flyers, oral histories, and more.

Explore QPL's Hip Hop Collection.

Do you want to learn more about our Hip Hop programs, or contribute to QPL's Hip Hop Collection?

Contact QPL's Hip Hop Team.


Telling the Story of Hip Hop

Queens Public Library has embarked on a mission to recognize and promote the growth of the hip hop community. We provide Queens Public Library customers with programming that enhances their knowledge of this worldwide music movement and cultural phenomenon. This reflects the important role Queens communities played in hip hop's ascension from a local art form to an internationally recognized movement.

While providing programs that promote the overall mission, Queens Public Library also collects and displays artifacts such as pictures, periodicals, audio tapes, video tapes, writings, news articles, flyers, and oral histories from people involved with the music from the origins of the genre, up until present day.

Our goals are to bring awareness to the fundamental elements of Hip Hop culture and to build a community. We are committed to preserving and continuing Queens’s legacy and historical contributions to Hip Hop.

Pioneering TV host and Hip Hop historian Ralph McDaniels is the Hip Hop Coordinator for Queens Public Library.


Virtual Hip Hop Programs

From the onset of the pandemic in early Spring 2020, QPL Hip Hop Coordinator Ralph McDaniels has been hosting livestreams on the QPL Instagram page to engage with our community.

The livestreams include Live Talks from Queens that cover a wide range of topics and feature special guests and artists; and the All Vinyl 45s Hip Hop and Soul Brunch, featuring Uncle Ralph’s DJ sets of hip hop, soul, funk, and old-school favorites.

More than sharing music, these livestreams are a place of community support, allowing for discussions about life, prevailing social issues, and more.

Watch Ralph McDaniels’s livestream programs on QPL’s Instagram page, and catch up on the replays in QPL’s Instagram Reels collection.


Hip Hop 101 Master Class for Teens

Queens Public Library's Hip Hop 101 Master Class program provides mentoring, skills building, and entrepreneurial skills for our teen participants.

Teens learn how to create DJ mixes, beats, and Positive Community Podcasts, and feel a sense of excitement as they interact with positive adult role models and learn from experts.

Our content is teen-directed, and our participants are encouraged to grapple with social justice and other issues that directly affect them. At the end of the program, teens are able to market themselves and become young entrepreneurs.

Stay tuned for our upcoming sessions!

Hip Hop programs at QPL are supported by grants from Amazon, The Keith Haring Foundation, and The Amazin' Mets Foundation.