Library of Congress Acquires Dexter Gordon Collection

Widow Maxine Gordon makes appearance at LOC to introduce collection

Visitor to the Library of Congress viewing some of the items contained in the newly acquired Dexter Gordon Collection
Maxine Gordon discussed the making of the 1986 Warner Brothers' film Round Midnight
Maxine Gordon discussing the making of the 1986 Warner Brothers' film, 'Round Midnight, a film that starred her late husband, Dexter Gordon, in a role that earned him an Oscar nomination.
An early draft of the script for Warner Bros. film Round Midnight

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The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. recently acquired the Dexter Gordon Collection, which includes recordings, interviews and various items from his film and television appearances. His widow, Maxine Gordon, appeared at the Library on April 16 to introduce the material and talk about Gordon’s legacy. In addition, Round Midnight, the film starring Gordon, was screened on April 19 at the Mary Pickford Theater as part of the Library’s Jazz Film Series.

“It was Dexter Gordon’s wish to have his collection housed at the Library of Congress,” his widow said in a press release received at JazzTimes. “We want people to know what the Library is doing in support of jazz.” Ms. Gordon, who is working on her doctorate in history at New York University, is the senior interviewer and jazz researcher at the Bronx African American History Project at Fordham University. She has written on various aspects of jazz and is currently writing a biography about her husband and his legacy.

Items from the collection were on display at the event. Among them was a short video of Dexter Gordon in Europe, which features his last public performance, as well as various unreleased material from the influential saxophonist.

“With the acquisition of the Dexter Gordon Collection, the Library has secured the recorded legacy of one of the great jazz saxophonists,” said Eugene DeAnna, head of the Library’s Recorded Sound Section in the press releas. “Most of these great recordings exist only on what are now obsolete formats, so our job will be to catalog and digitally preserve them to archival standards at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, making them accessible to listeners in our Capitol Hill reading room while sustaining them for posterity.”

For more information about the Dexter Gordon collection at the Library of Congress, go to the Library’s web site.