Founded at Columbia College Chicago in 1983, The Center for Black Music Research is the only organization of its kind. It exists to illuminate the significant role that black music plays in world culture by serving as a nexus for all who value black music, by promoting scholarly thought and knowledge about black music, and by providing a safe haven for the materials and information that document the black music experience across Africa and the diaspora.
Focus is on all types of Black music, U.S. and elsewhere. Holdings include: Personal papers, scores, audio and video recordings, research collections, records and papers of related organizations. Of jazz interest: Papers of Edmund Thornton Jenkins, Melba Liston, Martin Williams; Scores of David Baker; Collections of Paul Eduard Miller, Gerhard Kubik and Moya Malamusi Papers.
Archival Holdings of Interest include the American Federation of Musicians Chicago Chapter Files; Balaban & Katz Theatre Collection; Roy G. Butler Collection; Dick Buckley "Archives of Jazz" tapes; Chicago Blues Archive; Barrett Deems Collection; Clarence Hintze Collection; Charles Sengstock Collection; Muggsy Spanier Archives; jazz books and periodicals; numerous sound recordings.
Harold Washington Library Center
Visual and Performing Arts Section
400 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60605
Related databases available on site or remotely via CPL Library card include: Chicago Defender Historical Archive, Chicago Tribune Historical Archive, IL Sanborne Fire Insurance Maps, International Index to Music Periodicals, Music Index, Oxford Music Online.
Research collections; focus is on African-American history in Illinois. Jazz-related archival materials include: Richard Durham Papers, Capt. Walter Henri Dyett Papers, Carol Lems-Dworkin Papers; Don Moye Art Ensemble of Chicago Papers, Timuel D. Black Papers, and Charles Walton Papers.
Vivian Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature
Woodson Regional Library, Chicago Public Library
9525 South Halsted ST
Chicago, IL 60628
Related databases available on site or remotely via CPL Library card include: Chicago Defender Historical Archive, Chicago Tribune Historical Archive, IL Sanborne Fire Insurance Maps, Oxford Music Online.
Video interviews of musicians and music educators. Includes Chicago jazz musicians Oscar Brown Jr., Kelan Phil Cohran, Geraldine deHaas, Kahil El'Zabar, Ghalib Ghallab, Everett Greene, Isaac Redd Holt, Ramsey Lewis, Geraldine Moore, Famadou Don Moye, Johnny Pate, and Eldee Young.Finding aids by name
Other Libraries and Archives Holding Chicago Jazz Materials
Institute of Jazz Studies
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
John Cotton Dana Library
185 University Ave.
Newark NJ USA 07102
Tel: (973) 353-5595
Fax: (973) 353-5944
eberger at andromeda.rutgers.edu
The official repository of Louis Armstrong's papers and collections. The Museum's collections are currently separate from the House, and are available for research in the Rosenthal Library at Queens College. Use the contact form to make an appointment for a research visit. It is also possible to visit the Louis Armstrong House
Hoagy Carmichael knew and performed with many Chicago musicians, including Louis Armstrong. Hoagy was also a friend of John Steiner, and was one of the many musicians that Steiner interviewed before donating his collection to the Chicago Jazz Archive. Hoagy's collection is in the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University.
Vocalist Ruth Etting was originally from David City, Nebraska, but spent time in Chicago before moving on to the Ziegfeld Follies and radio stardom in New York City. The Ruth Etting Archives are held at the Music Library, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Includes Felix Grant's interviews of several musicians who worked extensively in Chicago, including Anthony Braxton, Oscar Brown Jr., Cab Calloway, Dorothy Donegan, Earl Hines, Ramsey Lewis, Gil Scott-Heron, Clark Terry, Mel Torme. Guest users need to request a guest i.d.
Material on New Orleans musicians, including many who moved to other cities, notably Chicago, New York, and various points in California. Items of note: handwritten manuscripts of Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton; extensive jazz memorabilia and sound materials.
Materials on several New Orleans musicians who were on the Chicago scene, including Louis Armstrong, Johnny and Warren "Baby" Dodds, Sidney Bechet, and others. Instruments, memorabilia, photographs, film, sheet music.
Vickie R.S. Connor, Archivist
The Center for Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan
African American Music Collection
G648 Haven Hall
505 South State Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1045
phone: (734) 764-8338 fax: (734) 763-0543
email: vrconnor at umich.edu
Monk Rowe, the Joe Williams Director of the Jazz Archive
phone: (315) 859-4071
mrowe at hamilton.edu
The Hamilton College Jazz Archive
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
The Smithsonian Archives Center of the National Museum of American History holds jazz oral histories of jazz musicians with Chicago ties, as well as those from New Orleans, New York and elsewhere. Some Chicago figures include: Oscar Brown Jr.; Dorothy Donegan; Malachi Favors; Von Freeman; Marian McPartland; and Clark Terry.
National Museum of American History
12th, 14th & Constitution Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20560-0601
(202) 357-1729 TDD
(202) 786-2453 FAX
Email: archivescenter at si.edu
National Museum of American History
PO Box 37012
NMAH, MRC 601
Washington, DC 20013-7012
Use jazz as the keyword on this WPA Life Histories Search page for three WPA interviews on Chicago jazz. Sam Ross filed interviews of Arnold Freeman (Bud Freeman's brother, 3/30/1939), George Barnes (May 3-4, 1939), and Muggsy Spanier (April 28, May 4-9, 1939), which appear in that order at the top of the search results. Questions about the interviews should be directed to the Library of Congress Ask A Librarian service
The Jazzinstitut Darmstadt is the largest jazz archive in Europe. Its website maintains a world list of jazz archives, repositories, and organizations to help researchers locate jazz materials. There is a website in English.