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Spark Your Pop Culture Curiosity: MoPOP Launches Online Collection Vault

Photo collage showcasing artifacts from MoPOP's collection

While several hundred objects from MoPOP’s collection are on display at any one time in the museum, more than 80,000 pieces are under our care.

MoPOP’s permanent collection — much of which is stored in a physical “vault” — spans the breadth of the pop culture canon and also features one of the finest assemblages of popular music-related artifacts in existence. This rich archive provides the foundation for exhibitions and programs that explore themes tied to popular culture. Additionally, we make the collection available to scholars, journalists, and other researchers for study and to other cultural organizations for loan.

With the aim of preservation and public access, our permanent collection includes artworks, musical instruments, photographs, manuscripts, posters, zines, fliers, sound recordings, clothing, and more. Our oral history archive includes more than 1,100 recorded interviews conducted by MoPOP’s curators with musicians, filmmakers, authors, creators, and other luminaries who have shaped our cultural landscape.

We invite you to spark your pop culture curiosity through our online collection vault which features a sampling of objects within our permanent collection, selected by our curators and organized into content areas. Additional objects and content areas will be added by our Curatorial and Collections staff at a steady pace, with the ultimate goal of presenting our entire permanent collection to the public as an educational resource.


Content Areas

MoPOP Grunge Collection


Sometimes known as the “Seattle Sound,” grunge came into international prominence in the early 1990s with the critical and commercial success of bands such as Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Screaming Trees, Mudhoney, and others.


MoPOP Guitar Collection


While fretted and stringed chordophones appear in many world cultures across several millennia, the modern guitar has a long history in popular music as a fundamental component of folk, jazz, blues, country, rock, and other music styles.


MoPOP Jimi Hendrix Collection


MoPOP was originally conceived in the early 1990s as a museum dedicated to Jimi Hendrix’s life, legacy, and career. This focus evolved and broadened over time, but Hendrix still remains a vital part of the museum, with a constant display presence and several thousand objects in the permanent collection.


MoPOP Hip-Hop Collection


MoPOP’s permanent collection of artifacts recognizes hip-hop as a cultural art form that highlights the five elements of hip-hop; DJing, MCing, graffiti art, B-boying/B-girling, and knowledge of self.


MoPOP Science-Fiction Collection


Science-fiction is a genre that defies easy definition but in general emphasizes big ideas and a sense of wonder, often within a framework of the effects of technology or future possibilities on humanity or other sentient beings.


MoPOP Collection Highlights


Iconic objects, hand-selected from MoPOP curators, from across genre and time period, are showcased here in order to highlight the breadth of MoPOP’s permanent collection.


Learn more about the Online Collection Vault + explore additional Into the Vault-type content from MoPOP.

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The Museum of Pop Culture’s mission is to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities.

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