Special Collections and Archives
researched by Music Librarian Christopher Popa
The official repository for Louis Armstrong materials is The Louis Armstrong House and Archives in Queens, NY. The collection includes 85 scrapbooks; 8,000 photos; private letters, diaries, and manuscripts; 650 reel-to-reel tapes for which Armstrong hand-decorated the boxes with collages; and more.
The New Orleans Jazz Museum was given Armstrong's first cornet, which he learned to play while at the Waifs' Home in 1914. Originally a separate operation, the Museum became part of the Louisiana State Museum Jazz Collection in 1977.
Other memorabilia, such as the handbill shown below, from an appearance by Armstrong and his big band in July 1939, is held by private collectors.
Robert Baranello. "Armstrong Archive Arrives," DownBeat, Jan. 1992, p.11.
David W. Dunlap. "For a King of Jazz, a Castle in Queens," New York Times, Oct. 9, 2003,
"Jazz Museum Gets Original Satchmo Horn," DownBeat, May 24, 1962, p.14.
John Leland. "Live From Satchmo's Den," New York Times, Oct. 9, 2003, p.F-1.
Louis Armstrong House Museum, http://www.louisarmstronghouse.org.
Louisiana State Museum, http://lsm.crt.state.la.us/collections/jazz.htm.
Susan Ruel. "Satchmo's House Opens as a Museum," DownBeat, Nov. 2003, p.22.