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Music: Black Music and Musicians

Black Music and Musicians

Research centers and special collections that feature African-American musicians.
Site designed by Randye Jones, soprano and researcher.
According to the website: "This is a living collection of books, articles, documentaries, series, podcasts and more about the Black origins of traditional and popular music dating from the 18th century to present day. Resources are organized chronologically and by genre for ease of browsing." Most of the hyperlinked entries appear to be full-text.
A research unit of Columbia College Chicago.

Finding list for Ms. Jackson’s foundation’s archives (now housed at Emory University, Atlanta) which preserve the memorabilia & stories of the singers, actors, chorus girls, dancers & others who created the golden age of live stage shows in New York. DJ grew up in Harlem a block from the Apollo Theater & was a dancer in her youth.


The University of Pennsylvania Libraries houses the papers of the famed American singer Marian Anderson, who was born and raised in Philadelphia with close ties to the community. As part of a recently completed CLIR hidden collections digitization grant, the University of Pennsylvania Libraries digitized over 2,500 items from the Anderson collection, including several of her handwritten diaries, journals, letters, notebooks (presented here for transcription for the first time), scrapbooks, private recordings, concert programs and interviews. The collection spans the contralto's six-decade career as a concert singer and advocate for social justice. These materials complement an important collection of 4,000 photographs, which are also publicly accessible. The Marian Anderson Collection is housed in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, and is jointly curated by the Libraries' Curator of Manuscripts and the Music Librarian.

Hip-Hop Bibliography
Bibliography on books, films, online articles, periodical literature, recordings, serial publications, theses and videos that can aid in the research of hip-hop as a part of popular culture.

SCOTT: Hazel Scott Papers, 1924-1986

Hazel Scott was a jazz and classical pianist, singer, and actor. Materials in the collection include correspondence, writings, clippings, photographs, business papers, datebooks, and other items that chronicle her career in entertainment and history of political activism. This is a description of the contents of this pioneering African-American musician's personal documents, now held by the Library of Congress, which will make the papers available to the public when the building reopens.

Detroit-based, founded by Kermit Moore (1929-2013), the African-American composer, conductor and cellist who was an advocate for greater inclusion of minority musicians in American symphonies. Moore was also the co-founder, in 1964, of the Symphony of the New World.

A discography of nearly 1,600 tracks from recordings of spirituals written for the solo voice. Aimed at the voice student and coach/teacher in need of recorded resources.

Papers of Fred Thomas (d. 2001), African American baritone, housed at NYPL. Includes records from Thomas' service as treasurer of National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM), as well as letters and ephemera documenting the singer's performance career.

Ten years in the making, the Center in Crown Heights opened in Fall 2014 on the site of one of the first free black communities in the US. Classes on gardening, graffiti and T-shirt art; a gallery hosts exhibits on African art and Brooklyn’s jazz roots, with DJs spinning at packed after-hours openings.