Collection on Dizzy Gillespie, 1987-2000

Overview of the Collection

University of Idaho. Library. Special Collections Dept.
Collection on Dizzy Gillespie
1987-2000 (inclusive)
12 items
Collection Number
IJC MG 007
Dizzy Gillespie was a jazz trumpeter, percussionist, pianist, and vocalist. This collection includes memorabilia that belonged to the artist.
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 2088850845
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public. Researchers must use the collection in accordance with the policies of the University of Idaho Special Collections and Archives.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Dizzy (John Birks) Gillespie was born in Cheraw, South Carolina in 1917. His father, a local bandleader, had him playing the piano at age four. The elder Gillespie, however, died when his son was ten, leaving John to learn music on his own. At twelve he was playing trombone; at thirteen, trumpet. A music (and sports) scholarship enabled him to attend the Laurinburg Institute, in Laurinburg, North Carolina, but he left the school in 1935. He soon joined the Frankie Fairfax Band in Philadelphia, and there picked up his nickname "Dizzy" for his on stage clowning. Through a succession of other jobs in other bands he began developing his own distinctive style of play, finally finding a place to express this style, christened "bebop," when, with Charlie Parker, he joined the Earl Hines band in 1942. He moved on to other bands and bebop followed. Quickly accepted by some fans and musicians, and just as quickly rejected by others, bebop nonetheless helped define post-war jazz in the U.S. and in Europe. At the time of his death, in January of 1993, Dizzy was one of the most widely recognized and admired jazz musicians both within the jazz community and in wider culture.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection was assembled by Special Collections and Archives of the University of Idaho Library with materials donated by Mrs. Gillespie. The collection contains twelve items that belonged to the artist.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

This manuscript group is part of the International Jazz Collections (IJC).

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

This collection has been digitized and made into the digital Dizzy Gillespie Collection.

Restrictions on Use

Consult Head of Special Collections and Archives on permissions for use.

Preferred Citation

Photographer, “Title,” date. Collection name, object ID. University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives, Moscow, ID.

Author, Description or “Title” of item, date. Collection name, collection number, box, folder. University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives, Moscow, ID.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Location of Collection

Special Collections and Archives of the University of Idaho Library and at the Student Union Building. Forty-eight hours advance notice is required to access artifacts housed offsite.

Acquisition Information

Gift, Dizzy Gillespie's widow, Mrs. Lorraine Gillespie, between [2002-2008?].

Processing Note

Processed by Michael Tarabulski.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

I:  MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1 1991
2 1991
2 1955
2 1992
1 item : Gray, velvet, brimless. Ceremonial/Masonic quality. Silver color passmenterie embellishment around bottom of crown. Four inch diameter circle of embellishment at center top. One inch pom pom at center top. Four rosettes, flat metal beads around top center medallion, and forming words around crown: Bashere of Iperu. Green and white striped fabric lining.
2 items : Gold color metal frames with ersatz tortoise shell bows. Engraved on both sides of frame where they join bows with hinges: Vogart. On right bow: Vogart by Eastern States model 3089 CE. Accompanies a brocade case with optician's name and address printed inside.
4 02 December 1990
Coat, Sports
1 item : Black and white houndstooth 100% wool. Fully lined with gray acetate. Label: "Saks Fifth Avenue." 2 button, single vent.
1 item : Blue, gray, and white, cotton with indigo calligraphic figures all over in rows and columns. Indigo blue has migrated (bled) into white fabric. Shirt tail style, short sleeves with standing band collar. No labels, looks homemade. Six brown wooden buttons center front placket. Right and left breast pockets.
1 item : Gray, handknit, turtleneck. Heavy gauge wool, raglan sleeves.
1 item : White, 100% cotton. CFD: gray, black, white, orange with photograph of D. Gillespie. Text: "Southwest Airlines is Proud to Celebrate Black Music Month, June 1-June 30, 2000." Southwest Airlines logo on left sleeve hem.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • African American jazz musicians--Archives
  • Jazz musicians--United States--Archives
  • Jazz--History--20th century--Sources

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Gillespie, Dizzy, 1917-1993--Archives
    • Gillespie, Lorraine (donor)