The collection dates from 1900 to 1997 and mostly includes images taken in South Africa. The images document the peoples of South Africa, particularly the Loved, Ndebele, San, Sotho, Xhosa, and Zulu peoples. Locations photographed include Basutoland (now Lesotho), Bechuanaland (now Botswana), Johannesburg, Natal, Pretoria, Soweto, Swaziland, Transkei, Transvaal, the Umzimkulu Valley and Zululand. Manuscript and office files include clippings, correspondence, exhibition announcements, invitations and reviews, notes, essays, receipts, and other materials that document Larrabee's career, family history, and personal life.
The collection documents Duke Ellington's career primarily through orchestrations (scores and parts), music manuscripts, lead sheets, transcriptions, and sheet music. It also includes concert posters, concert programs, television, radio, motion picture and musical theater scripts, business records, correspondence, awards, as well as audiotapes, audiodiscs, photographs, tour itineraries, newspaper clippings, magazines, caricatures, paintings, and scrapbooks.