Local Music Legend Bela Koe-Krompecher Donates Materials to Rare Books & Manuscripts Library

A hand-drawn promotional poster for a music group called "Caroliner Rainbow"
Hand drawn flyer (by Bela Koe-Krompecher) for Caroliner Rainbow with Clay show at Bernie’s, undated

The Rare Books & Manuscripts Library (RBML), part of The Ohio State University Libraries, has announced the donation of materials by Bela Koe-Krompecher, an instrumental figure in Columbus’ underground music scene. The collection includes zines, music magazines, flyers, photos, handmade tickets and more that document Koe-Krompecher's work as a writer, concert promoter and head of Anyway Records from the 1990s to the early 2000s.

While working at Used Kids Records in the early 1990s, Koe-Krompecher partnered with Jerry Wick to create the independent record label Anyway Records. In 2009, he began a popular blog chronicling his involvement in the burgeoning midwestern music scene and the characters who inhabited much of the national underground music world. He has since written three graphic comics based on his stories and experiences. His writing has also appeared in the award-winning book “Malls Across America,” as well as the publications Shredding Paper, Raygun, Dagger and 614. Koe-Krompecher continues to champion new artists through Anyway Records while working as a social worker, professor and guest lecturer in Columbus, Ohio.

“This collection is exciting because it documents the 90s underground music and DIY communities from the perspective of a local participant,” said Jolie Braun, curator of modern literature and manuscripts at RBML. “These materials provide a window into how independent music promotion, distribution, networking and community building worked in a pre-internet era.”

A virtual event in partnership with the Wexner Center for the Arts will take place on August 31, during which Koe-Krompecher will discuss his forthcoming memoir “Love, Death & Photosynthesis” and highlight related items in the collection at RBML. More information and registration is available on the Wexner Center for the Arts website.