African American Music Collections

The Blair-Caldwell Library Archives has established itself as a premier research resource of African American jazz and popular music in Colorado. Documentation of its music collection includes a diverse collection of papers of prominent musicians from the Five Points community and Colorado. These manuscripts document a broad spectrum of music including jazz, blues, spirituals, and contemporary music.  Early and recent manuscripts in the Archives capture the creative spirit and output of enormously talented musicians.  The Blair-Caldwell Library also houses an extensive non-circulating collection of secondary sources (books) about African American music and musicians.

Of note in the Archives are the papers of George Morrison, Sr., a talented violinist and guitarist, who established his own orchestra comprised of a group of gifted African American musicians including Hattie McDaniel, Cuthbert Byrd, Jimmie Lunceford and Andy Kirk.  Morrison over the span of his musical career also shared musical links with well-known musicians Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin and Tommy Dorsey. Click on Archives Highlights to learn about the musical contributions of Morrison and the other outstanding African American musicians from Five Points and Colorado.  

Research Tools

Digital Collections

Contains a selection of photographs, maps, broadsides, architectural drawings and other documents from the collections of the Western History/Genealogy Department.

Interlibrary Loan & Purchase Suggestions

Search WorldCat to find items Denver Public Library does not own and and place a request. You can also submit a purchase suggestion by filling out a blank request form.