Exhibition Statement

The Richard F. Wright Jazz Archive

The Richard F. Wright Jazz Archive at the University of Kansas is one of the most complete of its kind in the Midwest. Its holdings cover thoroughly all major jazz periods from the 1920’s and 1930’s on 78-rpm recordings (New Orleans, Chicago, New York, Kansas City, the swing era) as well as the many genres following World War II (bop, cool, funky/hard bop, third stream, avant-garde, fusion, and soul jazz).  The Archive is a collection of more than 40,000 items, covering the range of recording media from 78’s to 45’s, reel-to-reel and cassette tapes, and LPs.  Video recordings are also collected.   The Wright Jazz Archive is one of the collections in the University of Kansas Sound Archive.   Access to the recordings in the Archive is through the Music Library. 

We are fortunate to have been able to collect an in-depth jazz collection through the donations of many donors, starting with Dr. Wright’s collection in the mid-1980’s and including material from Dr. Chuck Berg.  Chuck Berg has been a regular contributor to the jazz archive collections.  His first donations were LP recordings and, as the medium of jazz recordings has changed, he has given CD’s and videos as well.  Among the most valuable material he has donated are the press kits and publicity material that were sent up with some of the review CD’s .  Not only is there material on well-known jazz figures and groups, there is also information about minor jazz performers and groups that may not be available elsewhere.  This material has been sorted and arranged by performer or group and is available for consultation in the Music Library.

George Gibbs
Head, Music and Dance Library
University of Kansas Libraries