Collections Update: Berklee College of Music Archives

Sofía Becerra-Licha is project archivist at Berklee College of Music. She is also a member of the REPS steering committee. She earned her MSLS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012.

Berklee College of Music’s archives was formally established in 2012 with support from an NHPRC grant. We’re happy to announce our most recent online exhibit: The Franklin McGinley collection on Duke Ellington, which consists of a scrapbook and loose materials documenting the rise of swing music and Duke Ellington.

The scrapbook is divided into four “chapters” and features striking artwork: drawings, sketches, and musically-themed doodles denoting each section. Intermingled with these hand-drawings and newspaper clippings are autographs from the likes of Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, and Duke Ellington. Check out one such page here, which includes a signature by ground-breaking bassist Jimmy Blanton (a rarity given his short lifetime!).

Putting together this online exhibit required some creativity to replicate the physical viewing experience because many of the scrapbook clippings must be unfolded to be read in person. For example, take a look at the page on the left here. It might be a little hard to tell at first glance, but several articles are folded under to fit the page length. Double-click on the image and you’ll notice the close-up view features those same clippings fully extended so they are readable.

This exhibit was created by a talented Simmons GSLIS intern, so if you’re a current MLIS student looking to get the most out of your 502 internship, keep in mind we usually have 1-2 spots available per semester and are happy to work with students to craft a project of interest (email: archives@berklee.edu).

Do you have an interesting project, new exhibit coming up, or newly processed collect that you want to share with REPS? If so, please email Michelle Chiles at michelle.chiles@gmail.com for more information. 

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