My week volunteering at the National Jazz Archive

As part of my MA in History, I completed a placement for the National Jazz Archive in April 2022. I catalogued part of Roy Hulbert's personal collection who was a lifelong jazz fan and donated his collection to the archive in his will.

Hulbert's collection consists of personal items and jazz memorabilia, including autographs, concert tickets, and photographs since the 1940s. Hulbert had attended numerous concerts and had met many prominent American and British jazz musicians over the years. The collection has a large number of autograph books and photographs of jazz artists with the majority of them being personally signed.

I catalogued the collection from the beginning using a CALM catalogue template which will ultimately be uploaded to the National Jazz Archive website. Hulbert's collection is divided into sperate groups and catalogued under headings such as Photographs, Ephemera, and Posters and Flyers. Each item has a catalogue reference number along with a title and a short description of the item as well as other data so they can be easily identified.

It was great to see the collection coming together and get a sense of Hulbert's lifelong passion which evidently goes back to his childhood. An article from an unknown newspaper tells us of a 14-year-old Hulbert being invited by Joe Daniels to play his drums on stage at the Bath Pavilion in the late 1930s. A photo of young unknown musicians performing, featuring a young Hulbert on drums, gives me the impression that he was perhaps an amateur drummer who either attended jam sessions or played in a local band.

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