From Tulane University:
The Hogan [Jazz Archive] is one of the last two major university jazz archives in the nation (the other is at Rutgers) and is essential to the world’s understanding of the beginnings of jazz, black gospel music of the 20th century and the golden era of New Orleans R&B. Its more than 2,000 tapes of oral histories are a never-ending cache of teachable moments for musicians, academics and fans.
It’s quiet in here. Like, “Twin-Peaks’’-David-Lynch-what’s-gonna-happen-next quiet. Less really is more when it comes to noise in a place where people are trying to think.
But the archivists fill the void—Alaina Hebert, Lynn Abbott and, for more than 40 years, curator Bruce Raeburn. They steer visitors to materials that might excite them. They also send visitors to the archive’s glass-encased listening rooms to hear recordings at full blast (OK, full-ish). Researchers from the entire jazz diaspora come to consult with them—Europe, Japan, Australia, China, Canada, Alaska, the Seventh Ward of New Orleans, Pontchartrain Park and even Dixon Hall on Tulane’s campus. For Sakakeeny, input from Hogan archivists led to an unexpected discovery.
Hogan archivists want to maintain their unmatched trove of oral histories online, so everyone can have access. They boast the best customer service of any jazz archive anywhere in the world. It’s fun coming down here. With their reference request forms in triplicate and neatly stacked stacks, Hebert and Abbott create an environment in which all manner of connections can be made.
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Through collaboration with Music Rising at Tulane University, many Hogan Jazz Archive Oral Histories are now streaming online for the first time via the Music Rising Website. If there is a transcript or digest available for an interview, it is also online as a searchable pdf.