Guide to the Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1222
Creators:
Garland, Ed
Armstrong, Louis, 1900-1971
Morton, Jelly Roll, d. 1941
Levin, Floyd, 1922-2007
Darensbourg, Joe, 1906-1985
Davison, Bill
Blake, Eubie, 1883-1983
Wilson, Buster
Levin, Lucille
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974
Dates:
1880 - 2010
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Some materials in French, German, Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish.
Physical Description:
42.5 cubic feet
110 boxes, 12 oversize folders
Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
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 including biographical files. There are numerous photographs that were taken and collected by Levin.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Research materials on jazz, jazz artists, jazz festivals and jazz organizations 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 includes such things as obituaries, memorial programs, press releases, concert programs, and newsletters. Photographs are also widely found in this series, many of them inscribed to, or taken with Levin and his wife Lucille, as well as posters, recordings, letters and other correspondence, awards and plaques, Levin's writings, business cards, newspaper articles, advertisements, and miscellaneous ephemeral items. Artists who are strongly represented include one-time Ellington Orchestra clarinetist "Barney" (Albany Leon) Bigard, who was a close personal friend of the Levins and whose personal papers are in the collection; Louis Armstrong; "Jelly Roll" (Ferdinand Lemott) Morton; "Wild" Bill Davison; "Duke" (Edward Kennedy) Ellington; Joe Darensbourg; Edward Bertram "Montudie" Garland; "Kid" (Edward) Ory; "Eubie" (James Herbert) Blake; and "Rosy" (James) McHargue.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is divided into ten series.
Series 1, Personal Papers, 1920-2010, undated
Series 2, Correspondence, 1948-2006, undated
Series 3, Research Materials, 1914-2006, undated
Series 4, Writings, 1949-2006, undated
Series 5, Artists Files, 1880-2010, undated
Subseries 5.1, General Materials, 1880-2010, undated
Subseries 5.2, Obituaries, 1941-2004
Subseries 5.3, Interviews, 1969-2001
Series 6, Subject Files, 1916-2004, undated
Series 7, General Materials, 1908-2006, undated
Series 8, Jazz Organizations and Publications, 1943-2010, undated
Series 9, Photographs, 1939-2001, undated
Series 10, Audiovisual Materials, 1964-1997, undated
Subseries 10.1, Audiocassettes, 1970-1997, undated
Subseries 10.2, Compact Discs, 1966-1994, undated
Subseries 10.3, Sound Tape Reels, 1964-1973, undated

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Floyd Levin (1922-2007) was a Los Angeles textile manufacturer who turned his passion for jazz into a second, contemporaneous, career as an influential jazz journalist and historian. His numerous reviews, profiles, and articles were published in magazines such as Down Beat, Jazz Journal International, Metronome, and American Rag. He also authored Classic Jazz: A Personal View of the Music and the Musicians (University of California Press, 2000), which–like his articles–chronicled his first-hand encounters with countless jazz musicians. In 1949, he co-founded the Southern California Hot Jazz Society, the second-oldest jazz appreciation club in the country. Levin led the drive to create the Louis Armstrong Park and statue in New Orleans in the 1970s. During his career he conducted scores of oral history interviews with jazz musicians, which he donated to the National Museum of American History and to Tulane University's jazz archive. He received several awards for his work, including the Leonard Feather Communicator Award, given annually by the Los Angeles Jazz Society. Upon his death in 2007, the Los Angeles Times ran a four-column obituary with his photograph.

Administration
Processing Information
Collection processed by Rebekah Keel, intern; Elizabeth Livesey, intern; Justine Thomas, intern; Cooby Greenway, volunteer; Marian Tatum-Webb, volunteer; Ramona Williamson, volunteer and Vanessa Broussard Simmons, archivist, 2016.
Author
Elizabeth Livesey, Rebekah Keel and Vanessa Broussard Simmons
Sponsor
Processing and encoding funded by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated to the Archives Center in 2011 by Floyd Levin's widow, Lucille Levin.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection, 1880-2010, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials may be used.
Conditions Governing Use
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Newsletters -- 20th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Posters -- 20th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Obituaries Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jazz Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jazz musicians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 20th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Advertisements -- 20th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ephemera -- 20th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Concert programs -- 20th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business cards Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Audio cassettes Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Signatures (names) Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Audiotapes Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Personal papers -- 20th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Biography files Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Awards Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Writings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu