New Orleans Jazz Museum Is Digitalizing Its Impressive Collection Of Iconic Jazz History

Jack Rattenbury Jack Rattenbury

New Orleans Jazz Museum Is Digitalizing Its Impressive Collection Of Iconic Jazz History

The New Orleans Jazz Museum is in the midst of digitizing its collection with over 25,000 pieces.

The New Orleans Jazz Museum has one of the most extensive collection of jazz related items, specifically connected to the city it calls home. Their artifacts retell the history and evolution of jazz, both locally and internationally, including instruments, sheet music, and records.

While the project has taken on increased significance during the age of COVID-19, the museum is prioritizing the digitalization of their collection.

Credit: Louis Armstrong with trumpet. NOLA Jazz Museum

Through digitization, the New Orleans Jazz Museum aims to increase access and education for students, researchers, enthusiasts, and lovers of the city alike. In addition, it’ll ensure the long-term preservation  of their historic resources.

The digitalization begun in 2017 thanks to a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It was taken on by digital assets manager Jennifer Long and assistant archivist Bryanne Schexnayder.

To date, Long and Schexnayder have overseen the digitization of the collection’s nearly 12,000 photographs, 1,821 pieces of sheet music, and 749 large-format posters.


Credit: Edward “Kid” Ory relaxing in armchair with trombone. NOLA Jazz Museum

In the process of digitizing the endless amount of items, Long and Schexnayder have come across many jazz jewels. Some items of particular historic value include the sheet music for “Livery Stable Blues,” acknowledged as the first commercially available jazz recording in 1917 by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.

The New Orleans Jazz Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. Purchasing tickets prior is advisable. 

Featured Image: NOLA Jazz Museum


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