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Jazz Research at the Library of Congress

A guide to the extensive jazz holdings in the Music Division at the Library of Congress, which includes scores, manuscript material, sheet music, books, serials, and copyright deposit lead sheets.

Introduction

William P. Gottlieb, photographer. [Portrait of Max Roach, Three Deuces, New York, N.Y., ca. Oct. 1947]. Library of Congress Music Division.

There are many important jazz collections in the Library’s Motion Pictures, Broadcasting & Recorded Sound Division, Prints & Photographs Division and the American Folklife Center. But the first place to start jazz research at the Library of Congress is the Music Division, which has particularly rich resources including scores, manuscript material, sheet music, books, serials, and copyright deposit lead sheets. Our catalogued general collections contain music for jazz ensembles, music history and criticism, as well as method books, transcriptions, and biographies.

The Music Division holds special collections of many major jazz artists, including Max Roach, Billy Strayhorn, Louis Bellson, Ella Fitzgerald, Shelly Manne, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Carmen McRae, Billy Taylor, Laurindo Almeida, Billy Byers, Dexter Gordon, Charlie Barnet and Billy May.