The IJS has over 300 archival collections as well as numerous special collections, including an exceptional range of historic artifacts from jazz luminaries such as Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Ben Webster, Ella Fitzgerald, Lester Young, and Louis Armstrong. Some of the Institutes' flagship archival collections include the papers of Mary Lou Williams, James P. Johnson, Abbey Lincoln, Benny Carter, Annie Ross, and Howard McGhee. The IJS also has extensive clippings files, a large collection of record label catalogs dating back to the earliest days of sound recording history, and thousands of photographs of jazz musicians. Some of these collections are listed and/or searchable on the Institute's website.
The clippings, photograph, and record catalog collections are organized in alphabetical order by last name, record label name, or subject. Although the collections focus on performers from every era of jazz, you will also find producers, impresarios, critics, and other important figures in jazz history included in the files. The clippings collection is available in the open stacks for self-service, but if you would like to use the photograph or record catalog collection, please ask the IJS reference desk staff for assistance.
Archival collections are shelved in the closed stacks and are available on request. To find out what a collection includes, you will need to look at its finding aid. For guidance on using a finding aid, please watch the video to the right, produced by the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. (Select full-screen mode for the best viewing.)
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