Digital Collections

Scope and Content Note

Berklee Archives hosts several digital collections, which offer access to content of high research interest, educational value, or exceptionally fragile condition. This includes material pertaining to Berklee’s origins and early influences, such as founder Lawrence Berk’s notebooks from his studies under Joseph Schillinger and the Berk Family collection's early concert recordings and radio broadcasts; materials documenting the academic and performing landscape of the institution, such as course catalogs, concert programs, and event recordings; and in-house documentary efforts such as the ongoing Berklee Oral History project

Digital collections are primarily open to the public, but some are either restricted to users with a Berklee login, or can only be accessed at the workstation in the Archives office under supervision, depending on extant rights issues or donor stipulations about the collection. Contact Berklee Archives staff (archives@berklee.edu) with access inquiries or to schedule visiting appointments. 

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Memorabilia created by Franklin McGinley for and by Duke Ellington, including a scrapbook, additional clippings, and various commemorative materials. The scrapbook, presumably put together by McGinley, documents the rise of swing music and Duke Ellington and includes autographs by Ellington and other musicians of the period. The remaining loose materials document Ellington's posthumous legacy, with the majority of the clippings consisting of obituaries or coverage of Duke Ellington's passing in 1974.

3 items in Collection

    Multiple binders containing notes, formulas, and other figures compiled and created by Lawrence Berk, founder of Berklee College of Music, likely produced in the 1930s as a result of Berk’s private study with Joseph Schillinger, creator of the Schillinger System of Musical Composition. These papers presumably contain the foundation of Berklee’s early curriculum. Additional archival materials on the Schillinger System may also be found in the Jerome Gross and Bert Henry papers on the Schillinger System (BCA-006)

    11 items in Collection

      Pedagogical arrangements created and/or compiled by distinguished pianist, faculty member, and alumnus Dean Earl as teaching aids for Berklee Piano Department courses in harmony and piano performance. The arrangements themselves consist mainly of popular music and jazz standards, as well as musical exercises.

      3 items in Collection

        Established in 1998, the Berklee Oral History Project (BOHP) seeks to chronicle Berklee’s rich history from those who have lived, shaped, and defined it. In capturing the diverse experiences and perceptions of Berklee faculty, staff, and alumni, Berklee Archives seeks to document Berklee’s pedagogical contributions to music education, as well as the events and issues that have impacted the direction and identity of the institution. This collection comprises video interviews from over 100 individuals closely associated with Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory, including faculty, staff, presidents, and alumni. Some early interviews also feature individuals unaffiliated with Berklee who were active in the Boston jazz community.

          Selected digitized materials from the Berk Family collection of personal and professional material compiled by and about Lawrence, Alma, Lee, and Susan Berk from the 1920s through 2019, representing two generations of Berklee leadership (1945-2004). The collection includes assorted Berklee documents and ephemera; artifacts and awards presented to members of the Berk family in recognition of their service and accomplishments; other professional records or tributes; and scrapbooks, photographs, and audiovisual recordings capturing nearly 100 years of family memories and Berklee experiences. 

          1 items in Collection

            This assembled collection primarily contains course catalogs and bulletins covering 42 of Berklee's first 59 years of operation, offering insight into both the roots and growth of Berklee's curriculum. This collection has been collated from a number of different College sources, primarily the Berklee Office of Public Information records by Alma Berk (BCA-013) and former Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice Provost, S. Jay Kennedy.

            39 items in Collection

              Berklee Today (1989- present) is the official alumni magazine of Berklee. The magazine is currently published semi-annually, though issues released per year have varied since its launch in 1989. Previously a publication of the Office of the Institute of Advancement, Berklee Today is now a publication of the Office of External Affairs as of 2019.

              95 items in Collection

                From 1958 to 1976, the fifteen-volume series Jazz in the Classroom was produced as an innovative educational method that combined scores and recordings to demonstrate jazz writing and performance techniques and showcase the talents of outstanding students of the day. The volumes feature faculty and student composers, arrangers, and performers such as Toshiko Akiyoshi ‘59, Arif Mardin ‘61, Mike Gibbs ‘63, Gábor Szabó ’59, Gary Burton ‘62, Sadao Watanabe ‘65, Alf Clausen ‘66, John Abercrombie ‘67, Alan Broadbent ‘69, Hal Crook ‘71, Abraham Laboriel, Sr., ‘72, Tiger Okoshi ‘75, and many more.

                15 items in Collection

                  Explore Berklee campus event recordings available to stream online through the Archives’ in-house streaming platform, Berklee Events Online (BEO). This platform launched in 2019 and features select concerts, ceremonies, symposiums, and other events across College and Conservatory history.