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New Jazz Archive to launch at University of East Anglia

Wed, 17 Aug 2011

A new archive of jazz books, journals and memorabilia spanning almost a century will be launched at the University of East Anglia on Saturday, August 20.

The collection includes books, festival programs, fan club newsletters, sheet music, and thousands of core jazz titles such as Down Beat, Jazz Journal and Popular Music magazine, which dates back to the 1920s.

The launch comes after the National Jazz Archive (NJA) donated 52 boxes of journals and more than 300 books to the university, its Outreach partner.

While the books will be catalogued and added to the library's main shelves, the rest of the Jazz Archive will be housed in the School of Music and the UEA Library Archives and Special Collections, alongside the Doris Lessing Archive, Lorna Sage Archive and a collection of letters from JD Salinger, which was acquired earlier this year.

The collection is the largest jazz archive in East Anglia, with many thousands of journals. It includes editions of Popular Music, a weekly magazine published between 1924 and 1937, as well as copies of Jazz Journal dating back to 1955, and Down Beat, dating back to 1961.

It is hoped that titles such as Jazz Times and The Wire will also be integrated into the collection.

A searchable digital database of the index of the journals' contents, the first of its kind, is also being created.

The new collection will be officially launched on August 20, during the Annual Summer School of the National Youth Jazz Collective, held this year at UEA.

The week-long event will see 30 of England's most gifted and talented young jazz musicians, aged between 14 and 18, working with a team of internationally renowned jazz artists.

Music lecturer Dr Vic Hobson said: "We are very pleased to have received these journals and books from the National Jazz Archive, and for the support that we have been shown by the UEA Library.

"This will enable researchers and our students to access a wide variety of jazz related materials unavailable elsewhere in the region. This is particularly important for our students. As jazz becomes a part of mainstream music education these resources will keep us at forefront of jazz research and music making.

"Not only will the UEA Jazz Archive provide a resource that will be directly applicable to the jazz modules that we teach, but increasingly it will be possible for our students to play an active part in the projects and initiatives that the NJA is pioneering with financial assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund."

The launch will be followed by a free public National Youth Jazz Collective concert at 6pm in Lecture Theatre 1.