Arts & Culture

Steffens' collections for sale

By Cecelia Campbell-Livingston Observer staff reporter livingstonc@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 24, 2013    

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THE much-documented archives of reggae historian Roger Steffens has been put up for sale on the Internet.

Chazz P Morris, a Jamaica-born American citizen, is behind the project which is posted on Kickstarter.com.

According to Morris, the goal is to acquire the largest collection of reggae artefacts in the world

from Steffens, to erect the International Reggae Museum in Nine Miles, St Ann.

The archive is valued at

US$3 million based on appraisal by Robert Santelli, chairman of the Grammy Museum.

Morris announced the initiative via press release Tuesday.

"This acquisition has been a long time coming and now the opportunity is here to preserve the history of reggae music by acquiring this one of a kind collection," she said.

Steffens' collection -- which includes hundreds of autographed album covers and rare singles, original photographs, fliers, T-shirts, postcards, magazines, books, banners, and buttons -- has been the subject of sale speculation for some time.

A possible deal with Jamaican-Canadian businessman Michael Lee-Chin to purchase it three years ago, reportedly fell through.

The New York-born Steffens has shown the world-famous collection at his Los Angeles home for many years.

According to Morris, the proposed museum would comprise a theatre, gift shop and radio station.

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