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James R. and Susan Neumann Jazz Collection

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Audio and Moving Image Recordings

Periodicals

Concert Programs

Record Catalogs

Sheet Music

Books

Visual Materials

Artifacts, Scrapbooks, and Other Ephemera



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James R. and Susan Neumann Jazz Collection, 1933-2011 and undated | Oberlin Conservatory Library Special Collections

By Jeremy A. Smith

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Collection Overview

Title: James R. and Susan Neumann Jazz Collection, 1933-2011 and undated

Primary Creator: Neumann, James R.

Extent: 880.0 Linear Feet

Languages: English, French, Spanish;Castilian, Italian, Japanese

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The James R. and Susan Neumann Jazz Collection has as its focal point over 100,000 jazz recordings in a variety of formats (78s, 45s, LPs, CDs, DVDs). The Collection also contains a large number of print materials, including several thousand books on jazz and over 100 titles of jazz and blues periodicals that encompass 125 linear feet of shelf space. There are thousands of musicians’ photographs and autographs, along with additional memorabilia including film and concert posters, concert programs, sheet music, record catalogs, and artifacts.

The Collection began arriving at Oberlin in October 2011, and several additional accessions have been received since that point.  At present, Oberlin has received: 45,000 LPs;  3,500 78s; 125 linear feet of periodicals; twenty linear feet of concert programs, record catalogs, and sheet music; 600 film posters; nearly 1,000 concert and event posters; and various other ephemera and artifacts. These materials are currently being processed, cataloged, and digitized, and the finding aid is updated regularly as new materials come available for use.

More information on the Collection is available through a 2007 article from the Oberlin Conservatory Magazine and a 2008 article from Down Beat magazine.

To request access to the collection, contact Conservatory Library special collections staff at: con.special@oberlin.edu.

Collection Historical Note

James (Jim) R. Neumann is a business owner, jazz enthusiast, and active collector. Neumann is a 1958 graduate of Oberlin College, where he was a part of the campus Jazz Club, bringing to the college such performers as Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Woody Herman, Count Basie, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Duke Ellington, and Stan Kenton. He also hosted a jazz radio show – “Jazz Hot and Cool” – on the campus station WOBC.

After graduating from Oberlin and spending time in the U.S. Armed Forces, Neumann returned home to Chicago to begin working at New Metal Crafts, a family business that manufactures fine-lighting products. At the same time, Neumann began intentionally building his nascent collection of jazz recordings and memorabilia. Over the course of more than five decades, Neumann has amassed what is possibly the largest private collection of jazz-related material in the world.

In addition to collecting, Neumann and his wife Susan Neumann founded Bee Hive Records in 1977. The company recorded and released seventeen jazz albums between 1977 and 1984, featuring musicians including Pepper Adams, Curtis Fuller, Clifford Jordan, Nick Brignola, and Johnny Hartman.

Neumann continues actively collecting today from his residence in the Chicago area.

Administrative Information

Repository: Oberlin Conservatory Library Special Collections

Access Restrictions: The Collection is currently being processed, cataloged, and digitized, and this finding aid will be updated regularly as new materials come available for use.  For more information on the collection, contact Conservatory Library special collections staff at: con.special@oberlin.edu.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Oberlin College. For more information, contact Conservatory Library staff.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], James R. and Susan Neumann Jazz Collection, Oberlin Conservatory Library


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Audio and Moving Image Recordings],
[Series 2: Periodicals, 1936-2011],
[Series 3: Concert Programs, 1942-2009 and undated],
[Series 4: Record Catalogs, 1935-2006 and undated],
[Series 5: Sheet Music],
[Series 6: Books, 1972-2009 and undated],
[Series 7: Visual Materials],
[Series 8: Artifacts, Scrapbooks, and Other Ephemera, 1933-2006 and undated],
[All]