- University of Idaho. Library. Special Collections Dept.
- Collection on Ella Fitzgerald
- 52 items
- Collection Number
- IJC MG 4
- Ella Fitzgerald was a jazz vocalist. This collection was assembled with materials acquired by the University of Idaho and donated to the Library in 1997. The collection includes personal items and artifacts that belonged to the artist.
- University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
- 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.
- This collection is in English.
Biographical NoteReturn to Top
Ella Jane Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Virginia, on April 25, 1917 and raised in Yonkers, New York. In 1934 Benny Carter and Bardu Ali heard Ms. Fitzgerald singing at the Apollo Theatre and introduced her to Chick Webb who hired Ella as a singer with his orchestra. One of the major hits of her career was a version of the nursery rhyme "A-Tisket, A-Tasket," recorded in 1938, with Webb's orchestra. After his death in 1939, she assumed the leadership of the orchestra for some years. By 1946 she was well into her solo career touring the world with Norman Granz' Jazz at the Philharmonic. In 1955 Granz became Ms. Fitzgerald's personal manager and she began recording for his label, Verve. Throughout her career Ella recorded with jazz greats including Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Ray Brown, Count Basie, Al Grey, and others. Worth mentioning are eight "Song Book" albums Ms. Fitzgerald produced for Verve from 1956 to 1964. In this series she sang compositions of Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart, George and Ira Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Harold Arlen, and Johnny Mercer. She was the recipient of several awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1992), the French medal of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres)(1990), the NAACP Image award for Lifetime Achievement (1988), U.S. National Medal of Arts (1987), the first ASCAP award in recognition of an artist (1965), and several Grammy and Down Beat magazine awards. She also received awards and honorary degrees from several universities, including Princeton University (1990) and Dartmouth College (1976). Ella Fitzgerald died in Beverly Hills, California, on June 15, 1996.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
This collection was assembled by Special Collections and Archives of the University of Idaho Library with materials acquired by the University of Idaho from the Estate of Ella Fitzgerald. The collection contains fifty two items that belonged to the artist. Note that a record album inside its cover, a necklace with medallion, a hat with hatpin, or eyeglasses inside an eyeglass case, are counted as one item each.
Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top
This manuscript group is part of the International Jazz Collections-IJC.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
Consult Head of Special Collections and Archives on permissions for use.
Collection on Ella Fitzgerald, IJC MG 4, Special Collections and Archives, University of Idaho Library, Moscow, Idaho.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
The University of Idaho acquired the materials in this collection in 1997, apparently from three different sources.The hats at a Sotheby's auction (New York?), from the Estate of Ella Fitzgerald; seven vintage album covers, a Don Loper gown, a pair of shoes, and a necklace, at BUMPS Fine Art, Antiques and Collectibles (Los Angeles), from the Beverly Hills Estate of Ella Fitzgerald; and the remainder of the materials from the 1989 Fitzgerald Trust, through the Law offices of Le Winter and Rosman (Encino, CA).
Gift, University of Idaho, 1997.
Processed in January 2011.
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
|1||12 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch wood plaque. To Ella Fitzgerald by the National Tuberculosis Association; James E. Perkins, Managing Director|
|Certificate of Honorary Columbia Citizen to Ella Fitzgerald. Kirkman Finlay, Jr. Mayor of the City of Columbia, South Carolina, October 22, 1981, in a 14 x 11 1/4 inch frame under glass|
|Album Digital III At Montreux: Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Pass, Count Basie. 1980 Pablo Records|
|Album Ella in London. 1974 Pablo Records|
|Cover of the album Digital III At Montreux: Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Pass, Count Basie. 1980 Pablo Records|
|Cover of the album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers and Hart Song Book (vol. 2) Verve|
|Cover of the album Lady Time. Ella Fitzgerald with Jackie Davis and Louie Bellson. 1978 Pablo Records|
|Cover of the album Ella Fitzgerald at the Montreux Jazz Festival 1975. 1975 Pablo Records|
|Cover of the album The Ella Fitzgerald Set. Jazz at the Philharmonic. 1983 Verve|
|Cover of the album Ella Fitzgerald. The Rodgers and Hart Songbook. Verve|
|Cover of the album Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas. Capitol|
|Cover of the album Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Johnny Mercer Song Book. Verve|
|Ella's credit card from C. Ludwig Baumann and Company, Brooklyn. Signed|
|Ella's visit card from Pablo Records|
|Ella's credit card from Bank of America, Visa. 1978. Signed|
|5 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch black and white photograph. Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald by James Kruegeman of New York in the format of a postcard|
|5 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch black and white photograph. Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald by Poposie of New York in the format of a postcard|
|5 x 4 inch black and white photograph. Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald|
|10 x 8 inch color photograph. Ella Fitzgerald wearing the turquoise gown|
|10 x 8 inch black and white photograph. Ella Fitzgerald performing. Pablo|
|8 x 10 inch black and white photograph. Ella Fitzgerald performing. Pablo|
|10 x 8 inch black and white photograph. Ella Fitzgerald wearing the Seville Classic hat|
|10 x 8 inch black and white photograph. Ella Fitzgerald in an early publicity portrait|
|8 x 10 inch black and white photograph. Ella Fitzgerald snapping fingers|
|10 x 8 inch black and white photograph. Ella Fitzgerald performing|
|10 x 8 inch black and white photograph. Ella Fitzgerald at the Lord and Taylor Rose award|
|10 x 8 inch black and white photograph. Ella Fitzgerald wearing a Memorex outfit|
|10 x 8 inch black and white photograph. Ella Fitzgerald wearing a checkered jacket and brooch|
|10 x 8 inch black and white photograph. Ella Fitzgerald performing. Signed|
|Three lead lyrics: Useless Landscape; Song of the Jet; and What a Diff'rence a Day Made|
|A lead vocal arrangement for Begin the Beguine, by Marty Paich|
|Two programs of the Norman Granz' Jazz at the Philharmonic. 14th and 16th National Tour. Covers artwork by David Stone Martin|
|2||Wide brimmed ecru color organza hat. Label: Made to Order Rex Inc. Beverly Hills California|
|Blue and ecru color woven pillbox hat. Labels: Made in England, Otto Lucas Junior; Saks Fifth Avenue|
|3||Black hat with hatpin. Label: Emme Inc. New York I. Magnin and Co.; Stamped: Duchess Reg'd, Body Made in Italy|
|Black hat. Stamped: La Perla Filipina, Conde Asalto 20, Barcelona; Clasico Sevillano [Seville Classic]|
|Gown. Label: Don Loper of California|
|5||Shoes. Light green/aquamarine satin pumps. 3.5 inch heel. Label: Vogue House Originals by Ansonia|
|Necklace with medallion|
|Eyeglasses inside a white vinyl glass case|
|6||Wig. Label: Japanese fiber made in Hong Kong; Naomi Sims Collection|
|Oversize Folder||35 x 23 inch poster of the Westwood Playhouse featuring a sketch of Ella Fitzgerald by Pablo Picasso. Dedicated to Ella by Picasso on May 28, 1970|
|13 x 10 1/2 inch poster featuring Ella Fitzgerald advertising American Express travel card, 1988|
|11 x 17 inch reprint of a newspaper article by Joan Sutton, which appeared in The Toronto Sun, on April 11, 1978|
|25 x 30 1/2 inch poster featuring a portrait of Ella Fitzgerald by LeRoy Neiman (Signed), with the inscriptions: Ella in Flight; Ella Fitzgerald Inaugurates Continental Airlines Pub Flight Service; January 12, 1983|
|Unboxed||Three boxes: two hatboxes (Saks Fifth Avenue and Rex), and a square box (Ann Taylor)|
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- African American women jazz singers--Archives
- Jazz singers--United States--Archives
- Jazz--History--20th century--Sources
- Fitzgerald, Ella--Archives