The Tom Law San Francisco Bay Area Punk and Rock Handbill and Poster Collection features over 1100 posters collected in San
Francisco between 1981 and 1986. This street art chronicles the musical and cultural history of the San Francisco Bay Area
in the mid-eighties. The majority of fliers are advertisements for local and touring bands, but posters for readings, screenings,
plays, art openings, political protests, and even lost pets are also present.
Thomas James Law was born in 1943 and was in his forties when he collected these posters. Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota,
Law moved to San Francisco in about 1981. He lived in the Tenderloin in 1983 and relocated to the Upper Haight a year later.
On his regular walks around the city, he began to take notice of the distinct and vibrant posters stapled and taped to virtually
every public surface. Curiously, Law never went to any of the events advertised, only recognizing a certain aesthetic value
in the fliers themselves. "I liked the images. I liked the names. They suggested something different. They were new concepts:
lyrical and wild. I never heard their music or saw them perform. I didn't care to: I just wanted their posters."
2.5 Linear Feet
: 1154 posters and 2 magazines in 3 manuscript boxes, 2 flat boxes and 1 large map folder
While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not
an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission
or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.
The materials are open for research use.