Located at 191 Beale Street, the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum actually began as a research project of the Smithsonian Institution.  Situated within the FedExForum sports and entertainment complex, the purpose of this museum, according to its website, is to share “the story of musical pioneers who, for the love of music, overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create the music that shook the entire world.”

Conceived by the Smithsonian, the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum was developed by the National Museum of American History initially as an exhibit.  This was the not only the first exhibition to have been created by the Institution in partnership with another museum, but it was also the first exhibit outside its home, Washington, D.C., and New York, a cosmopolitan center of culture.  The collaboration was in tribute to the 150th anniversary of the world-renown Smithsonian Institution.