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The National Jazz Archive holds the UK’s finest collection of written, printed and visual material on jazz, blues and related music, from the 1920s to the present day. Founded in 1988 by trumpeter Digby Fairweather, the Archive’s vision is to ensure that the rich tangible cultural heritage of jazz is safeguarded for future generations of enthusiasts, professionals and researchers.

Part of our Heritage Lottery Fund project ‘The Story of British Jazz’, which ran from 2011 to 2015, was devoted to conserving and cataloguing the collection, and digitising some of the most interesting material. As a result, many photographs, journals, documents and learning resources are now freely available on our website.

Our current Heritage Lottery Fund project ‘Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence’, which runs until mid-2017, is exploring the investments that different generations make in promoting, performing, supporting and documenting our jazz heritage. Interviews and reminiscences are being recorded and will be made available on our website and as part of an exhibition ‘Say it with Music’.

Our Collections
The National Jazz Archive collections include:

– More than 4000 books
– Runs of around 700 journals and periodicals
– Photographs, drawings, paintings, concert and festival posters and programmes
– Letters, memorabilia and personal papers donated by musicians, writers, journalists and collectors
– Oral histories from our Heritage Lottery Fund intergenerational jazz reminiscence project.


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