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Library of Congress Launches New Online Jazz Content

The Library of Congress recently launched a new Performing Arts Encyclopedia on its Web site ( It’s a grand resource for those interested in exploring the realms of music, motion pictures, broadcasting, recorded sound, manuscripts, rare books and other collections.

The site also includes an entire section devoted to jazz. Jazz fans can browse the site by subject or artist and explore musical compositions, performances, recordings, papers, photographs, biographies and extensive music libraries. Currently featured on the jazz portion of the site: The working music library of Andre Previn, the Ella Fitzgerald collection, a jazz in film bibliography, a Pearl Bailey collection and much more.

In an interview conducted via e-mail, Library of Congress Senior Studio Engineer and JazzTimes contributor Larry Appelbaum called the encyclopedia “an important resource for scholars, researchers, musicians and anyone interested in learning more about what’s in the Library’s music and dance collections.”

“The site will continue to grow as we get more of our collections processed and cataloged. For years we had many of these collection-finding aids available for those who came to the Library in person, but now people can access them from all over the world,” said Appelbaum.

Appelbaum further elaborated on the jazz section of the site: “For me, some of the most interesting parts of this encyclopedia are the finding aids for the Charles Mingus (pictured), Ella Fitzgerald and Dexter Gordon collections. These finding aids are a window into the contributions of these musicians, and they document the scores, manuscripts, papers and photographs in these collections. We also have the collections of Milt Hinton, Charlie Barnet, Shelly Manne, Pearl Bailey, Supersax and Makanda Ken McIntyre…I should also add that my favorite part of the encyclopedia is the online collection titled ‘Jazz on the Screen.’ It’s an incredible resource for anyone interested in jazz music on film. The database was compiled by jazz film historian David Meeker and it includes a searchable filmography listing jazz musicians performing in more than 14,000 film, television and video productions.”

So the next time you find yourself with a minute to spare at a computer, log on and you might be surprised by what you find. The Performing Arts Encyclopedia can be found at

Originally Published