Audiovisual material


Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie Collection (16 ln. feet) contains materials related to the renowned jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader, Dizzy Gillespie. The Photographs series is the most extensive, offering comprehensive documentation of Gillespie’s personal and professional life. Among others, this series contains photographs captured during his international tours, promotional photoshoots, both on-stage and backstage interactions, and photographs taken during official ceremonies and awards. A significant portion of these photographs were taken by Dizzy Gillespie himself. The Manuscripts series includes, most notably, Gillespie’s appointment books and calendars from the mid-1960s to the 1990s. The Loraine Willis Correspondence consists of letters addressed to Gillespie’s wife and business manager from the late 1990s and early 2000s. Within the Scrapbooks and Realia series, a collection of valuable materials is preserved, including several scrapbooks from the Middle East Tour, posters from jazz festivals, and two Muppet dolls. Finally, the Audiovisual series contains cassette recordings made by Gillespie and other musicians of his circle, as well as video tapes with Gillespie’s TV appearances. This collection was purchased though the NMAAM-Vanderbilt University Collections Initiative.


  • circa 1940s-2003

Conditions Governing Access

This collection may be viewed only in the reading room of Special Collections in the Jean and Alexander Heard Library. Collections should be requested 2-3 days prior to visiting in order to facilitate easier access. For questions or to request a collection, contact


From the Collection: 16 Linear Feet (16 Hollinger boxes, 7 oversize boxes, 1 Paige box, 2 pieces of realia)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

Each finding aid contains a link to request materials from the collections. Collections can also be requested by emailing the repository directly through the library website. Each repository has its own location, hours, and contact information. Please consult the repository with questions about using the materials. Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the repository’s reading room. In many cases, the collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval.