Scope and Contents note
The collection contains primarily publicity photographs: a mixture of prints from original negatives, prints from copy negatives, etc. Most are 8" x 10" or 5" x 7", some smaller, and some are postcard size or smaller (these include Areal photo@ postcards, i.e., original photographic images printed on special silver gelatin paper). A few photomechanical images are included, as well as a few letters from celebrities to Mr. Bukowski, 1938-1939. The earliest item noted in the collection is a 1933 Christmas card. Several examples of Gene Krupa=s novelty pin, consisting of crossed drumsticks and a miniature phonograph record, are included. The actual number of items in each folder is shown in the Container List; items are conventional silver gelatin photoprints unless otherwise identified. There is also a scrapbook containing news clippings, photographs, and other memorabilia, with a list, affixed to the back cover, of bands which Mr. Bukowski heard in person. Although some of the photographs bear autographs with generic, somewhat impersonal messages, many are addressed personally to the collector and are fine examples of the interaction between celebrity and fan. The notation Asigned@ in the Container List identifies items autographed by performers.
Most of the subjects are musicians and entertainers associated with big jazz and popular music bands of the period; however, most of the images are studio publicity portraits of individual bandleaders and stars, rather than pictures of entire bands. Photographers represented include Bruno of Hollywood and Maurice Seymour, although many others are not identified.
Publicity photographs often were not archivally processed, and many photoprints in the collection show evidence of fading and yellowing from inadequate fixation or washing. Prints which are in exceptionally good condition are noted in the Container List.
Mr. Bukowski formed this collection in the 1930s and 1940s, but he added a few related items in the 1980s and 1990s.