Bunk Johnson Collection:
The intention was to make the Bunk Johnson Collection as user friendly as
possible. Amidst the diverse array of items donated by Harold and Pearl
Drob and others were many books on jazz, and in the cataloging record I have
indicated, for instance, which pages in a specific book have detailed
information on Bunk Johnson, which pages contain photographs of Bunk, etc.
Our collection continues to evolve. Bunk Johnson's music and non-music
life went far beyond his birthplace of New Orleans, and in that spirit I have
added to the collection a growing assortment of jazz music on compact disc, the
entire Jazz Icons DVD series, and other items. Therefore, our Bunk Johnson
archive includes jazz music, musicians, and sub-genres covering the 20th century
along with contemporary jazz. Visitors can listen to the music in
the cozy, nightclub-like atmosphere of the jazz room. (The library also
maintains an ever-evolving circulating music collection which includes music by
Bunk Johnson and other jazz greats.) In addition, visitors can listen to
interviews of relatives of Bunk Johnson as well as jazz musicians, researchers,
etc. speaking about Bunk. Harold and Pearl Drob conducted a wide range of
interviews of such individuals over many years. A fair amount of these
audiotapes were not in stellar condition, but thanks to the graciousness and
farsightedness of the library, I had access to technology enabling me to
preserve these Drob-creations on compact disc so that they will be available for
listening by future researchers and jazz fans.
Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Iberia Library, the jazz
collection has a DVD/VHS unit so that visitors can view silent film footage of
Bunk Johnson, videocassette jazz documentaries, videocassette interviews re/Bunk
Johnson, along with Jazz Icons and other DVD items in the jazz room.
Harold and Pearl Drob donated this collection as a reference-only entity; we
honor this wish during an era when intellectual property is increasingly
difficult to protect and preserve. Jazz fans and jazz musicians from
Europe and across North America as well as local people have visited our library,
and we welcome you too!
Don Crook, Archivist