The Hogan Archive of New Orleans Music and New Orleans Jazz supports the research and study of New Orleans music and culture of the late 19th and 20th centuries forward. It was founded in 1958 when Richard B. Allen, a Tulane University graduate student, embarked on a jazz oral history fieldwork project for his thesis. Dr. William Ransom Hogan, the chair of the Department of History at the time, wrote the initial Ford Foundation grant proposal that funded the project. Tulane administered the formation of the Archive of New Orleans Jazz as part of the Department of History. In 1965, the Archive became a department within the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library and in 1974, following Hogan’s death, it was renamed the William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive. It was renamed in 2020 to the Hogan Archive of New Orleans Music and New Orleans Jazz.
Hogan’s holdings include archival collections, sound recordings, sheet music, photographs, and printed materials. The musical cultures of New Orleans represented include, but are not limited to, jazz, ragtime, rhythm and blues, blues, gospel, Creole songs, and other forms of Black American popular music. All materials highlight the culture and communities of the New Orleans region from a music-based perspective, but also comprise multidisciplinary subjects such as American history, ethnic studies, gender studies, architecture, sociology, race and representation, anthropology, cultural studies, marketing, media, and much more.
Selected noteworthy holdings include:
- Over 2,000 reels of taped oral history interviews with musicians, family members, and observers that document the stories surrounding the emergence of jazz in New Orleans from the late 19th century forward. It is the largest collection of jazz oral history extant. Digitized oral histories represent 1948-1997.
- Papers and archival collections of pioneering New Orleans artists such as Paul Barbarin, Danny and Blue Lu Barker, Al Hirt, Mahalia Jackson, and Louis Prima; music and media practitioners such as Mina Lee Crais, Donald Marquis, Allison Miner, and Robert Palmer; and subjects such as the Dew Drop Inn, Tipitina’s, and the Union of New Orleans Musicians – AFM Local 174-496.
- Thousands of photographs of musicians, bands, orchestras, funerals with brass bands, parades, and landmark buildings, venues, and events.
- The digitized Louisiana Sheet Music Collection, which covers 100 years in the history of local publishing (1838-1938), and represents important composers including Basile Bares, Eugene Chassaignac, Edouard Dejan and Louis Moreau Gottschalk.
- Extensive vertical files with data on people, bands, discographies, and a wide variety of New Orleans music-related subjects.
- More than 40,000 sound recordings including vinyl LPs, 45s, and 78s, as well as cassette tapes, CDs, reel-to-reel tapes, and cylinders that capture studio and live performances, both commercially available and previously unreleased.
All back issues of The Jazz Archivist are available online via the Tulane University Digital Library.
From 1986-2019, The Jazz Archivist (ISSN: 1085-8415) served as a newsletter and non-peer reviewed journal covering jazz and New Orleans music. Published by the William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive, the publication featured articles and updates written by Hogan Archive staff, as well as independent researchers and scholars.
The Jazz Archivist ceased publication after its 2019 issue.