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Rutgers Acquires Count Basie Collection

Bandleader’s estate transfers nearly 1,000 artifacts to New Jersey university

Count Basie
A late-era photo of Count Basie, one of nearly 1,000 objects in the Basie Collection at Rutgers University

The Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS) at Rutgers University-Newark, in New Jersey, has acquired a collection of nearly 1,000 artifacts that belonged to the late William “Count” Basie. The Count Basie Collection, according to an IJS press release, includes the musician’s pianos, Hammond organ, photos, correspondence, concert programs, business records, housewares, and press clippings.

“Scholars, curators, writers, students, filmmakers, and music aficionados also will find clothes, accessories, scrapbooks, and audiovisual material from Basie as the collection comes ‘home’ to reside in the Red Bank, N.J., native’s home territory,” the announcement says. Also included in the collection are a Grammy, DownBeataward, and one of Basie’s signature ship captain’s hats.

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