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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: 840.0 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 approximately 2,000 books on jazz and over 100 titles of jazz and blues periodicals that encompass 115 linear feet of shelf space. There are thousands of musicians’ photographs and autographs, along with additional memorabilia including posters, concert programs, sheet music, record catalogs, and artifacts.

The initial portion of the Collection arrived at Oberlin in October 2011, consisting of 40,000 LPs, 7,000 78s, 115 linear feet of periodicals, and twenty linear feet of concert programs, record catalogs, and sheet music. This part of the Collection is currently being processed, cataloged, and digitized, and the finding aid will be 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]

Series 1: Audio and Moving Image Recordings
Sub-Series 1: LPs
The Collection currently contains approximately 40,000 10” or 12” long-playing records (33 1/3 rpm).  These items are currently being preserved, cataloged, and digitized.  A list of cataloged recordings, updated every 8-10 weeks, is available in the Oberlin Library Catalog (OBIS) here.  Streaming access to digitized LPs, also updated every 8-10 weeks, is available to Oberlin students and staff here.
Sub-Series 2: 78s
The Collection currently contains approximately 7,000 10” or 12” 78 rpm records.  Work inventorying these items will begin once the LPs are fully cataloged.
Sub-Series 3: Additional formats
At a later date, Oberlin will receive the remaining audio and moving image formats represented in the Collection (45s, CDs, and DVDs).
Series 2: Periodicals, 1936-2011
This series contains over 100 titles of jazz and blues periodicals that encompass 115 linear feet of shelf space.  A list of titles with substantial representation in the Collection is available in OBIS here, while a separate list of miscellaneous and single-item holdings is available here.
Series 3: Concert Programs, 1942-2009 and undated
This series contains over 300 concert programs from festivals and events throughout the US and across the world from 1942-2009 (many items are undated).  A complete inventory is available here.
Series 4: Record Catalogs, 1935-2006 and undated
This series contains catalogs from over 150 different record companies in the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, and various European countries.  A complete inventory is available here.
Series 5: Sheet Music
This series contains approximately 130 items of popular sheet music.  A complete inventory of song titles and composers is available here.
Series 6: Books, 1972-2009 and undated
At present this series contains ca. 150 books related to jazz photography, inventoried here.  At a later date, Oberlin will receive and inventory the thousands of remaining books in the Collection.
Series 7: Visual Materials
Sub-Series 1: Photographs
The Collection contains a large number of photographs, including seventy images from the Indianapolis-based photographer Mark Sheldon, inventoried here.  Work preserving and cataloging the photographs is ongoing, and a full inventory of the sub-series will be available once work is complete.
Sub-Series 2: Posters

The Collection contains several hundred film posters, primarily from the second quarter of the 20th century, that visually feature jazz musicians.  Work preserving and cataloging the film posters is ongoing, and a full inventory of the materials will be available once work is complete.

Additionally, the Collection contains several hundred concert posters related to jazz concerts and events throughout the 20th century that Oberlin will receive at a later date.

Series 8: Artifacts, Scrapbooks, and Other Ephemera, 1933-2006 and undated
This series includes: ca. 40 artifacts, primarily from a variety of jazz venues across the US, inventoried here; along with a variety of scrapbooks and other ephemera, inventoried here.


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