Early Recorded Sound Archive:

Race and Race Consciousness 1900-1940

Bill Doggett is one of 4 African American members of The Association For Recorded Sound Collections, an organization compromised of the leading institutions, universities and libraries with notable dedicated Sound and Music Archives such as The Library of Congress, The Smithsonian, Yale, Rutgers, Stanford, UCLA and Manhattan’s Rodgers and Hammerstein Archive.
Doggett’s Early Sound recordings Archive includes many Edison cylinders from the 1890s which were re licensed as flat disc recordings by Columbia and Victor Records.    Notably,  The Archive includes the only two recordings by the first African American to make a sound recording in 1900, George W Johnson.  
These recordings are sampled in live demos in his lectures and multi media presentations played on a 1922 Acoustic Senior table top Victrola. ( a suitcase Victrola)
In 2015, Doggett was commissioned by The Recorded Sound Division of The Library of Congress to create an extensive Pilot project on the controversial world of Race at the dawn of Record Sound for The Recorded Sound Division’s critical web portal, The National Jukebox  http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/
Scheduled originally to launch in Fall 2017, the rise of hate crimes and racialized world of white nationalist supremacy created by Donald Trump’s election has sadly postponed indefinitely the Project launch. 
September 2015 filming at The Recorded Sound Division of  The Library of Congress,
Packard Campus, Culpepper, Virginia

With Gregory Lukow, Gene D’Ana-VIPs of The Motion Picture and Recorded Sound Division after September 2015 Pilot FilmingPackard Auditorium, Culpepper Campus of Library of Congress

Race and The N Word 1902
A Sound Image of
Old Man River 1902
A predecessor to Edna Ferber and Jerome Kern’s
1927 Showboat

Walter Kelly’s 1920 Victor recording- The Virginian Judge, A Humorous Dialogue, Side 1

Walter Kelly’s recording puts into wax and concretizes the audio and visual iconography of The Jim Crow Southern White Criminal Justice System for Black men that resonates in 2019-20 regarding Mass Incarceration.   
 Viewed as comedic entertainment for White audiences, more than any recording to date in The Victor catalog, this recording sets in motion the foundation of discussion for Michelle Alexander’s iconic book on Mass Incarceration, The New Jim Crow and  Ava Duvernay’s Netflix film, Thirteen and When They See Us.

Historic Images of Black Male Incarceration from Cotton hauling to The Chain Gang

Minstrelsy, An Imitation of Life

From The Covid-19 Facebook Live Stream Mini Lecture Series archived on You Tube

The Bill Doggett Race and Early Sound Performing Arts Archive

The Archive represents one of the most significant independently held and purchased documents of African American performing arts history intended for educational outreach and public access.
My Archive does not receive major institutional, foundation  or endowment underwriting like museums you have been reading about this Fall.   Therefore , the need is greater and frankly more pressing.

Within this focused Archive, you will find  hundreds of items relating to  Early Recorded Sound 1900-1924 that document the idea of Race and Race Consciousness at the dawn of the new technology known as the cylinder/phonograph record.

Notable  relating to the Archive’s collection of dawn of Recorded Sound is a focused documentation of  African American Theater 1895-1914 and the songs of early 20th century Black theatrical composers/performers: Bob Cole & J Rosamund Johnson, Will Marion Cooke, Henry Creamer& Turner Layton.
Their songs were recorded by white artists such as Collins and Harlan as Blacks were not allowed to record at the dawn of recorded sound  with the limited exceptions of Black Vaudevillians, Bert Williams and George Walker and the Black whistler, George W. Johnson. 

The Archive is rich in rare related sheet music and is bejeweled by an extraordinary pair of 1904-1910 Season  Hammerstein’s Theater of Varieties scrapbooks filled with rare playbills documenting the world of Black Vaudeville Theater at the dawn of the new century.
Also notable is an important collection of the first recordings of Negro  Spirituals and Black Preacher Sermons and Singings on rare labels such as Paramount, Black Swan, the ultra rare QRS label, Columbia and Columbia  privately pressed labels, Gennett and other labels.

 Within the Spirituals collection is a related extension of The Spirituals, the early 1939-47  Black Gospel song sheets:first edition printings of  many of the iconic Gospel-hymns of Thomas A Dorsey, Chicago based Kenneth Morris and Sallie Martin, Doris Akers and underknown Evangelists.  

The Archive contains a  noteworthy Black “News-eum”, a museum of 1795-1915 historic newspapers relating to The Black experience in slavery and emancipation with many Abolitionist era newspapers 1830-1859 and a small group of 1804-05 Charleston newspapers with bold display ads advertising the arrival of Slave Ships and “Auctions of Africans” while still on ship.  

Also very rare and important are a series of  1890s-1914 Indianapolis “The Freedman” newspapers:extremely brittle copies of the first post Civil War African American newspaper. These are full of important editorials and amazing advertising especially as it relates to entertainment of the time. These will require digitization as soon as possible as just handling them with white gloves, the highly acidic newsprint begins to crumble.

Of special note is a wonderful showcase of the world of Ragtime and Early Jazz.- both Black and White including a collection of first sound recordings of the  WC Handy Orchestra, James Reese Europe Orchestra, Pirons New Orleans Orchestra, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong.

 And then there is the important 1922-28  Columbia Records sound document of  Women of the Blues from the iconic Bessie Smith to a wide range of underknown Women of The Blues accompanied at the piano by the young Fletcher Henderson, Clarence Williams and others.

 There are first edition music scores, books, sheet music, ephemera and still photographs relating to Silent Film with African American actors and a  focused collection representing the  world of  Black Tin Pan Alley Composers 1912-1930*including early and first edition song sheets and sound recordings, * i.e. Andy Razaf, Maceo Pinkard, Shelton Brooks et al

This Archive is a treasure chest of “Race Records”, a  marketing sales term of record companies beginning in the 1920s to focus sales for Black consumers and admirers of “Jazz and Blues” music.