Institute of Jazz Studies

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John Cotton Dana Library, which houses the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers-Newark

The Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS) is the largest and most comprehensive library and archive of jazz and jazz-related materials in the world. It is located at the John Cotton Dana Library on the Newark campus of Rutgers University.


The Institute of Jazz Studies was founded by Marshall Stearns in 1952, based on a plan he had as early as 1949. It was originally located at his apartment at 108 Waverly Place in New York City, USA. Stearns negotiated transfer of IJS to Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey in 1966. In 1967 the Institute materials were moved to the Newark campus of Rutgers University in New Jersey. It was first located in Dana Library (1972), then moved to Bradley Hall (1975). The current expanded facilities in Dana Library opened in 1994. Over its 60 years of existence the Institute has acquired significant collections of periodicals as well as books, records, and archival materials from several musicians, photographers, and journalists. Other major collections include the personal papers of Mary Lou Williams, Victoria Spivey, Abby Lincoln, Annie Ross, Benny Carter, and James P. Johnson.


Marshall Stearns described the Institute of Jazz Studies' mission in 1953. "The general aim of the Institute of Jazz Studies is to foster an understanding and appreciation of the nature and significance of jazz in our society. More specifically, the Institute proposes to work toward this goal by pooling the knowledge and skills of authors and musicians, who have pioneered in the field of jazz, with those of social scientists and other experts whose techniques and studies may be brought to bear on the subject. In this manner, jazz and related subjects will be given the range and depth of scholarly study which they so richly deserve, and a vital but neglected area in American civilization will be illuminated."

In its recent administration under the institutional purview of Rutgers University Libraries, the Institute's mission continues on the path Marshall Stearns created, "to collect, preserve, and make accessible the heritage of jazz, an American art form that has been embraced by the world."[1]


A special column in The Record Changer jazz magazine was an initial, temporary place of publication for IJS scholarship.

Journal of Jazz Studies (JJS) was published from 1973 to 1979. Today, it is an open-access online journal. The online journal continues and expands upon the tradition of the original JJS/ARJS as the longest running English-language scholarly jazz journal.[2]

Annual Review of Jazz Studies began in 1981.

Studies in Jazz (a monograph series with Scarecrow Press) publishes books.

Original Board of Advisors[edit]


  • The Record Changer, July–August 1953 (special issue).
  • Kerlew, Clyde, "The Institute of Jazz Studies: From Academic Orphan to National Resource," Public and Access Services Quarterly, vol. 1, no. 1, 1995, pp. 51–74.
  • Wilson, John S., "Collection of Jazz Recordings and Writings Given to Rutgers," The New York Times, September 3, 1966, p. 12.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Journal of Jazz Studies (JJS)". Journal of Jazz Studies. Institue of Jazz Studies. 

External links[edit]