Austin History Center

SXSW, Inc. Records

An Inventory to the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: SXSW, Inc.
Title: SXSW, Inc. Records
Dates: 1986-2018
Dates (Bulk): 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.
Accession Number: AR.2010.029
Quantity: 0.6 linear feet (2 boxes)
Location: Archives Stacks, Compact Shelving, qAR, Artifacts, Digital Storage
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 and Memorabilia, includes New Music Seminar documents and conference, comedy, and tradeshow 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, an overview of a Farm & Home Savings Association time capsule from 1971, a 1971 United States proof set salvaged from the 1971 time capsule, and a SXSW "30 Years" badge. In 1971, the Austin branch of the Farm & Home Savings Association placed a time capsule at their 1404 Lavaca location. In 2012, CZ Properties bought the building in partnership with SXSW to build a new office building, when they discovered the time capsule after demolishing the old building. However, water leakage destroyed most of the contents, but a 1971 United States proof set was kept to be added to the AHC collections.

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 Film Festival.
  • South By Southwest Interactive Festival.
  • South By Southwest Music and Media Conference.
  • SXSW (Combined Program).
  • SXSW Gaming Expo.
  • SXSW Preview.
  • SXSW Preview 2004.
  • SXSW ScreenBurn.
  • January Update.
  • SXSWorld.
  • Whoopsy!.


  • 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.
  • A 641.5 OF The Official SXSW 2014 Interactive Cookbook. 2014.


  • 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 and Memorabilia, ca. 1986-2018

Box Folder
1 1 New Music Seminar documents, 1986-1987
2-3 Correspondence, comedy, and trade show 1987-2017
4 Economic impact studies, 2007-2017
5 SXSWSUX, undated
6 Memorabilia, Official Party Guide, Survival Guide, Maps, Flatstock brochures, 1982-2018
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
Location BoxItem
Artifacts 125/012 SXSW "30 Years" badge, 2016

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

Time capsule, 1971, 2017

Box Folder
2 4 Time capsule overview, 2017
Location BoxItem
Artifacts 125/013 United States proof set, 1971