Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection, ca. 1880-2010
Levin, Floyd 1922-2007
Armstrong, Louis 1900-1971
Blake, Eubie 1883-1983
Darensbourg, Joe 1906-1985
Ellington, Duke 1899-1974
Morton, Jelly Roll d. 1941
42.5 cu. ft. : 110 boxes
Floyd Levin was a Los Angeles textile manufacturer who turned his passion for jazz into a second career as an influential jazz journalist and historian.
The collection consists of research materials on jazz and jazz artists compiled by Levin over several decades. The richest portion is the series of biographical files on jazz artists, with emphasis on lesser known but influential artists, and including such things as obituaries, memorial programs, press releases, concert programs, newsletters. Also photographs, many of them inscribed to Levin; posters; recordings; letters; awards and plaques; Levin's writings; business cards; articles; advertisements; and miscellaneous ephemeral items. Artists who are strongly represented include one-time Ellington Orchestra clarinetist Barney Bigard, whose personal papers are in the collection; Louis Armstrong; Jelly Roll Morton; Wild Bill Davison; Duke Ellington; Joe Darensbourg; Ed "Monitude" Garland; Kid Ory; Eubie Blake; and Buster Wilson. 2013 addendum includes additional materials on jazz.
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection, ca. 1880-2010, Archives Center, National Museum of American History