Special Collections at the Wilson Music Library: Peter Redvers Lee Collection

An overview of the special collections available for students, faculty, and researchers held by the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library.

Details of the Redvers Lee Collection:

  • Size of the collection: Sixty recordings (most on cassette tape) with corresponding transcripts. Approximately one third of the recordings have been transcribed. Music Library staff are currently working on transcribing these tapes.
  • Strengths of the Collection: Unique and rare interviews with blues musicians such as Robert Johnson, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Gatemouth Moore, Tabby Thomas, Pinetop Perkins and Booba Barnes. These interviews are a rich source of primary source materials in which musicians recount their lived experiences.
  • Diversity: Redvers-Lee also donated 202 blues CDs, 446 blues LPs, 129 books and 146 magazine issues that are in the Music Library’s circulating collection along with a signed and framed photograph of blues artist James “Son” Thomas.
  • How Do I Access the Collection? Ask at the service desk for access to digital versions of the interview cassettes and copies of the transcripts. These materials must be used in the Music Library. Use the finding aid for this collection to browse the contents of this collection. For materials in the circulating collections, search our online catalog with the phrase “From the Peter Redvers-Lee Collection.”

The Peter Redvers Lee Collection:

Peter Redvers Lee was born July 2, 1960, in Estcourt, South Africa. After graduating in 1985 from the University of South Africa, he attended the University of Mississippi to obtain his M.A. in Journalism. His studies at Mississippi led him to become the editor of Living Blues, a post he held from 1987 until 1991.  As part of his editorial responsibilities, he interviewed blues musicians in the South for special features in the magazine and captured those interviews on cassette tapes. The Redvers Lee collection contains many of these interviews (conducted by Peter Redvers Lee and others), as well as interviews conducted for a then-planned book on Sonny Boy Williamson (d.1965). The collections also includes transcripts of these interviews and copies of documents and press related to Sonny Boy Williamson and other blues artists.