The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s artifact collection represents a diverse group of artists – much like the genre of rock and roll itself. The exhibits chronicle rock and roll history from its earliest days right through the new millennium, and visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will find clothing, handwritten lyrics, personal effects and much more. Among the Museum's most treasured pieces are the instruments.
The Museum's collection of rare instruments used in recordings and live performances includes drums, microphones, even flutes and a dulcimer, and the instrument most often associated with rock and roll: the guitar. There are approximately 20 guitars on permanent exhibit in the Museum’s atrium alone, and the instruments are rotated every six months. The guitars focus on Hall of Fame Inductees as well as non-inductee artists – both legendary and contemporary. Today, 10 new guitars that represent Inductees – including Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Cliff, Mike Mills of R.E.M., Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and 2012 inductee, Steve Fossen of Heart – and non-inductees Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello and Mike Dirnt of Green Day were placed on exhibit.