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Jazz: Photographs and Primary Source Materials

A subject guide for people interested in accessing information about jazz music and musicians.

Photographs

[Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947] (LOC)

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.


The above photo comes from the Gottlieb Collection at the Library of Congress. Hundreds of extraordinary images of jazz musicians photographed by William Gottlieb are available both through the Library of Congress Flickr feed here, as well as the Library of Congress website here.

[Portrait of Billie Holiday and Mister, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Feb. 1947] (LOC)

Portrait of Billie Holiday and Mister, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Feb. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress

Another extraordinary image from the Gottlieb Collection.

Print Resources

If you enjoy the photos found in the Jazz Loft Project, you can listen to an NPR feature on photographer W. Eugene Smith, as well as some of the 4,000 hours of reel-to-reel tape recorded at his Manhattan loft in the 1950s and 60s, by clicking on this link.

Online Newspaper Resources

The library provides access to many online newspapers, both current and historical. These can often be an interesting way to find information about jazz and jazz musicians. For instance, a search of the Historical New York Times database provides the following obituary for singer Billie Holiday, found here.

A search can also find reviews and commentary that provide a glimpse into the way jazz music was perceived at the time; a few examples are listed below.

Web Archives