University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Ross Russell:

A Preliminary Inventory of an Addition to His Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Russell, Ross, 1909-2000
Title: Ross Russell Addition to His Papers
Dates: 1970s-1999
Abstract: This addition includes working papers, reserach files, personal and professional correspondence, resumes, chronology, and other biographical material prepared by Russell. Also present are papers relating to Russell's father and wife, property and financial records, personal photographs, travel diaries, and World War II documents. Of particular interest are more than eighty rolls of jazz negatives.
Extent: 11 boxes (4.62 linear feet)
Repository: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Scope and Contents

This addition to the papers of jazz historian Ross Russell contains material remaining in his estate following his death in January 2000. As with previously received Russell material, this collection was prepared for shipment by La Jolla book dealer Laurence McGilvery whose descriptive notes are found throughout. The bulk of the material consists of Russell's project files covering a variety of subjects from notes and sketches for fiction to jazz topics. Although much of the material is undated, it appears that these files were in use during the last years of Russell's life. Russell's folder descriptions are retained and the folders are arranged alphabetically.

The materials are organized in three series: Series I. Working Papers and Research Files; Series II. Correspondence, 1980-1999; and Series III. Personal.

Russell was working on a book "The Bebop Era" at the time of his death. Materials relating to this project are found in Series I. Also of special interest are more than eighty rolls of jazz negatives taken primarily between 1967-1971 in settings such as Disneyland, San Diego, and at the Monterey and Newport Jazz Festivals. Contact prints, with a descriptive listing derived from Russell's numbered negative sleeves, have been prepared by the HRC to facilitate viewing and identification of these images. While the contact prints are available for patron use, the corresponding negatives are restricted. This series also includes information on Russell's biography of Charlie Parker Bird Lives!

The personal and professional correspondence in Series II reflects Russell's wide interests and activities. Correspondents include writer Prudence Crowther, biographer Albert Goldman, music librarian and blues archivist Edward Komara, and Tony Williams of Spotlite Records.

Series III contains resume, chronology, and other biographical material prepared by Russell for different purposes. Also present are papers relating to Russell's father and wife, property and financial records, personal photographs, travel diaries from 1982-1995, and World War II documents.



Open for research

Administrative Information


Purchase, 2002 (Reg. no. 14989)

Processed by:

Liz Murray, 2003

Ross Russell Papers (addition)--Folder List

I. Working Papers and Research Files

Box Folder
1 1 "A. B. Blues" (After Bird Blues), music manuscript by Joe Albany
2 The Al Haig project
3 "The Bebop Era," notes on book idea, 1989
4 Benedetti, Dean; The Dean Benedetti Story
5 Big bands, lists
6 "Bird," litigation
7 "Bird," screenplay by RR, 1977
"Bird Lives!"
Box Folder
1 8 Quartet Books
9-10 Reviews, 1973
11 Blue Note
12 Books, Edward R. Hamilton bookseller
13 Cadillac Slim, idea for a novel
14 Characters
15 "Collecting Hot: 70 Years of It," notes
16 Collectors' items for auction
17 Colloquialisms; notes on Jim Deal
Box Folder
2 1 Dial Classics, lists
2 "Door to Door: Collecting in the 1930s," RR's presentation at 1994 IAJRC meeting
3 European labels--Barclay
4 Freda, notes for fiction
5 Gray, Martin; "Blues for Bird," poem, 1997
6 Jazz articles, jazz anthology--lists
7 "Jazz by Mail"
8 Jazz miscellaneous
9 "Jelly Roll" Morton, score
10 Keynote--Lim, Hammond, Keepnews
11 L.A. atlas, street maps used for Raymond Chandler biography
12 Leadbelly
13 Liners--Dial, Toshiba
14 Louis Armstrong bus trip, notes
Box Folder
3 1 Miscellaneous
2 Names
3 Notes re jazz musicians and record industry
3 Photography--RR's jazz negatives sleeves
Photography--contact prints from jazz negatives
Box Folder
4 1 List; photocopies of negative sleeves
2 #468-565
3 #569-579
4 #580-590
5 #621-649
6 #650-673
7 #674-683
8 #684-694
9 #695-713
10 Dial Press PR; Ross Russell; Misc. Ellington; photos used in "Jazz Style in Kansas City"; Apollo Theatre in Harlem; and others
11-21 Negatives (RESTRICTED)
Box Folder
5 1 Photography specifications, especially Rodinol developer
2 Picaros, notes for novel
3 Pulps, typescript
Box Folder
5 4 Joe Albany
5 Contracts, rights, titles
6-8 Martial Solal
Box Folder
6 1 Spectra
2 Spotlite masters
3 Reviews
4-5 Ross Russell Collection, description
6 Russell, Bill
7 Russell, Sanders, poetry
8 Saga--plot line
9 Savoy
10 Social novel
11 Solo Art, Dan Qualey
12 Tales of the Jazz Age
13 Toshiba, Tony Williams
14 Univ. of Texas at Austin, Symposium, 1992
15 Westwood, fiction

II. Correspondence, 1980-1999

Box Folder
7 1 Crowther, Prudence
2 Daver, Manek
3 Fraser, Susan
4 Gardner, Mark
5-7 Goldman, Albert
8 Graz
9-10 IAJRC, 1994-96
11 Klett, Shirley
12-14 Komara, Edward
15 Leake, George
Box Folder
8 1-3 Parque, Steve
4 Poston, Ken
5-6 Russell, Mary Webster, and RR's letters from South Africa, 1980
7 Snyder, John L.
8 Stearns, Jean
9 Williams, Tony
10 Vail, Ken
Box Folder
9 1-3 Miscellaneous, 1991-1999
4 Personal, 1985-1988

III. Personal

Box Folder
9 5-6 Autobiography
7 Biographical
8 Biographical data and proposal-- "The Bebop Era"
9-10 Chronology
11 Resume
Box Folder
10 1-2 Borrego Spring property
3 Documents--Mary Webster Russell's will, RR's passports, marriage certificate, etc.
4 Neuhuber, Robert, RR's physician
5 Photograph album
6-7 Photographs, personal
Box Folder
11 1-3 Russell, R.M.
Travel, Europe
Box Folder
11 4 1982
5 1983
6 1984
7 1986
8 1987
9 1989
10 1990
11 1992
12 1995
13 Royal Bank of Austria
14 World War II documents and 1942 Life magazine article by RR