Special Collections at the Wilson Music Library: Vanderbilt University/NMAAM Collections Initiative

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

About the Vanderbilt/NMAAM Collections Initiative:

Vanderbilt University has partnered with the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) to create a Collections Initiative that will support the purchase of materials for research and exhibit. Funding for the Collections Initiative comes from the Academic Archives Purchasing Fund, an internal faculty funding program within the Office of the Provost, and is open to ALL full-time Vanderbilt faculty. Funds from the Collections Initiative are intended for collection-building acquisitions that enhance the depth or breadth of Vanderbilt’s holdings to support ongoing and potential scholarship on African American music. Additionally, these materials have exhibit potential and will support research by NMAAM staff and researchers. These materials are part of Vanderbilt University Special Collections.

Funding for the Collections Initiative is governed by an application process. Each application l must include a faculty member, a NMAAM curator, and a librarian. Applications are submitted via InfoReady Review, Vanderbilt’s online submissions portal. Applications are reviewed by a subcommittee of the University Library Committee. Recommendations are passed to the Dean of the Blair School of Music and the Office of the Provost, who make the final funding decisions. For more information about the proposal process, please see the Vanderbilt/NMAAM research guide.

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie Collection (MSS.1000):

This collection contains manuscripts, photographs, scrapbooks, and realia related to Jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Dizzy Gillespie. The photographs series in particular is extensive, documenting Gillespie's entire life and career here. Access the finding aid for the collection at this link. 

Dizzy Gillespie, Fozzie Bear, and Jim Henson

Rissi Palmer Collection (MSS.1026):

This collection contains songwriting notebooks, photographs, CDs, and outfits from African-American country music artist Rissi Palmer. The notebooks document the majority of Palmer's songwriting career, including songs from her first album and time writing jingles in New York.
There are also three outfits, two from music video performances and one from her debut performance at the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. Access the finding aid for the collection at this link. 

Rissi Palmer onstage at the Grand Ole Opry. She is playing a guitar and singing into a microphone.

Yusef Abdul Lateef Papers (MSS.1034):

This collection contains the musical manuscripts, papers, photographs, and several watercolor paintings by Yusef A. Lateef. Lateef was a genre-bending artist whose music crossed and combined multiple genres, including Middle Eastern and Asian, American jazz, and classical. He was a noted composer, educator, author, and visual artist. Access the finding aid for the collection at this link. 

A black & white photograph of Yusef A. Lateef. He is holding a tenor saxophone and wearing glasses.

Janet Jackson Memorabilia Collection (MSS.1023):

This collection contains two black coats made for Janet Jackson's 1990 Rhythm Nation Tour. One coat was worn by Jackson during the opening sequence of the tour while performing "Control" and "Nasty." The other coat is a similar, second version of the first coat. Access the finding aid for the collection at this link. 

A black jacket with velvet lapels worn by Janet Jackson during the Rhythm Nation Tour. The jacket is displayed flat on a table.