The National Jazz Archive holds the UK’s finest collection of written, printed and visual material on jazz, blues and related music, from the 1920s to the present day. Founded in 1988 by trumpeter Digby Fairweather, the Archive’s vision is to ensure that the rich tangible cultural heritage of jazz is safeguarded for future generations of enthusiasts, professionals and researchers.
Part of our Heritage Lottery Fund project ‘The Story of British Jazz’, which ran from 2011 to 2015, was devoted to conserving and cataloguing the collection, and digitising some of the most interesting material. As a result, many photographs, journals, documents and learning resources are now freely available on our website.
Our current Heritage Lottery Fund project ‘Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence’, which runs until mid-2017, is exploring the investments that different generations make in promoting, performing, supporting and documenting our jazz heritage. Interviews and reminiscences are being recorded and will be made available on our website and as part of an exhibition ‘Say it with Music’.
The National Jazz Archive collections include:
- More than 4000 books
- Runs of around 700 journals and periodicals
- Photographs, drawings, paintings, concert and festival posters and programmes
- Letters, memorabilia and personal papers donated by musicians, writers, journalists and collectors
- Oral histories from our Heritage Lottery Fund intergenerational jazz reminiscence project.
A detailed guide to our collections and how to search them can be downloaded here.
The National Jazz Archive is a charity (no. 327894), and the Board of Trustees is legally responsible for all the activities that the organisation undertakes. The Trustees are all unpaid volunteers who are responsible for ensuring that the Archive abides by its charitable aims and that we deliver our vision effectively.
Our Trustees are drawn from a range of backgrounds in heritage, archives, publishing, jazz, law and finance. You can read more about them here.
Annual General Meeting and Financial Statements
The National Jazz Archive held an Annual General Meeting at the Archive in Loughton on 12 December 2016.
The work and vision of the National Jazz Archive is supported by a number of eminent patrons:
Dame Cleo Laine
Professor Stuart Nicholson
Sir Michael Parkinson
Volunteer with Us
The National Jazz Archive relies on volunteers for all sorts of important activities. You can help with tasks such as packing and sorting our collections, identifying jazz musicians in photographs, organising fundraising events and marketing. If you are interested in giving us a hand get in touch via email or give us a call on +44 (0) 208-502-4701.
Sign Up for Updates
For regular updates on the Archive, our events and activities, sign up to our monthly newsletter.
Past printed newsletters can be downloaded here.
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