Collection Guides

Explore Berklee Archives collections by searching or browsing collection guides in the Berklee Archives Collections Database. A full list of collections (organized by institutional record group) open for research is available below:

BCA: Berklee College of Music Collections 

BCB: Boston Conservatory Collections

All archival collections are non-circulating, but may be viewed by appointment Monday - Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Read more about Visiting the Archives and contact Berklee Archives staff for research assistance or to request an appointment. Please note that most archival collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval. Certain items, such as audiovisual materials requiring the production of listening or viewing copies, may require additional processing time.

Selected material has been digitized and made available online in Digital Collections.


John LaPorta papers (BCA-001) 

The personal papers of American saxophonist, clarinetist, and educator John D. LaPorta (1920-2004), who taught at Berklee College of Music from 1959-1985. LaPorta's papers include published and unpublished compositions and arrangements, teaching materials, correspondence, clippings, programs, assorted writings, photographs, awards, and performance recordings collected by LaPorta over the course of his career as a performer and teacher.

The Donald Bacon papers represent the work of a journalist and photographer who documented the jazz scene in New England over an approximately twenty-five year period; 1970-1997. The collection includes a significant collection of incoming correspondence (he received) and outgoing correspondence (he sent) to jazz musicians, agents and other individuals. Photographs of jazz musicians make up another important component of the collection. A third category of records (Series II: Sound Recordings), are recorded interviews with musicians and live recordings of jazz concerts on audio cassette tapes.

This collection is comprised of photographs compiled into 76 albums by Alma Berk during her tenure as Berklee’s first publicity officer, from the college’s founding through the mid 1980’s. The photographs range in date from the early 1940’s through the mid 1980’s, with the bulk around 1968 through 1984. While Mrs. Berk likely took some of the photos herself, it is believed that many of the photos were actually taken by her personal photographer, Dino. These images serve as a visual snapshot of Berklee's early history and are the only known comprehensive photographic collection of Berklee during this time.

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. Selected materials have also been scanned and are available online here.

Scores, audio recordings, and other related materials created and collected by vibraphonist and Latin jazz composer Bobby Vince Paunetto ‘73. Scores include original compositions, arrangements, and sketches. Other papers include publicity-related correspondence, lists of compositions, and some class assignments. Audiovisual materials include both published and unpublished recordings in reel, cassette, and compact disc formats.

This collection is comprised of materials documenting correspondence, coursework, and memorabilia produced and collected by Bert Henry and Dr. Jerome Gross, as students and proponents of the Schillinger System of Musical Composition (SSOMC). The Schillinger System of Musical Composition was invented by Russian composer and theorist Joseph Schillinger. The system is modeled on mathematical processes and includes theories of rhythm, harmony, melody, counterpoint, form, and semantics. A digitized version of this collection is available online and additional archival materials on the Schillinger System may also be found in the Lawrence Berk papers on the Schillinger System (BCA-007)

This collection consists of 11 binders comprised of notes, formulas and other figures compiled and created by Lawrence Berk, founder of Berklee College of Music. Although materials are undated, it is assumed that these materials were produced in the 1930s as a result of Berk’s private study with Joseph Schillinger, creator of the Schillinger System of Musical Composition (SSOMC). Therefore, these papers presumably contain the foundation of Berklee’s early curriculum. A digitized version of this collection is available online and 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)

Approximately 100 Compact Disc recordings (1997-2013) collected by Berklee College of Music's Office of Alumni Affairs and featuring Berklee alumni. The vast majority of these recordings are commercial releases from circa 1997-2013, but there are also several undated items. Berklee College of Music's Office of Alumni Affairs provides programming, publications, and other resources aimed at supporting Berklee alumni's lifelong professional and personal pursuits. This includes documenting and highlighting notable alumni accomplishments, as with this collection of compact disc recordings.

This collection consists of concert programs generated by Berklee College of Music’s Concert Operations department, known colloquially as the Concert Office. Events include student, faculty, visiting artist, and professional performances in the following five campus venues: Lawrence and Alma Berk Hall, Oliver Colvin Hall, David Friend Hall, The Red Room @ Café 939, and the Berklee Performance Center.

Dean Earl papers (BCA-010) 

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. These papers have also been scanned and are available online here.

In 1998, the Stan Getz Library at Berklee College of Music established an oral history program devoted to documenting the lives of musicians who have made significant contributions to the music world as well as the Berklee College of Music community. The oral history project aims to chronicle the rich and diverse history of Berklee and Boston music from those who have lived, shaped and defined it. The interviewees discuss their time spent at Berklee College of Music; their performances in and around Boston; and their experiences learning and playing music. Topics include jazz history, the Boston Jazz community, musical education, the early development of the Berklee College of Music. The collection includes born-digital audio visual recordings of interviews conducted by the Berklee Oral History Project. Also included are transcripts of all of the interviews and biographical sketches of the interviewees. Selected interviews are available online

Materials created and/or compiled by author James Goss over the course of writing two books: Vinyl Lives I and Vinyl Lives II. These monographs document the perspectives of various independent record store owners and collectors regarding the rise, decline, and resurgence of record sales. Unpublished materials in this manuscript collection include the author's research files: interview outlines and questions, handwritten chapter outlines, handwritten interview transcripts, project notes, biographical information, correspondence, and interview recordings (30-60 minutes each). Published materials include copies of both books and an article written by Goss.

This collection is comprised of materials collected and organized by Alma Berk during her tenure as Chief Public Affairs Officer (1959-1994). As the founder of Berklee's Office of Public Information, Mrs. Berk's files remain the most comprehensive source of known documentation of the College's early years and encompass a broad range of information, including press clippings & releases, institutional reports, files on faculty and students, promotional materials, college publications, and more.

NOTE: This collection is temporarily under revision and unavailable for research. This collection consists of professional and personal papers of Lawrence, Alma, Lee Eliot, 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, and other professional records or tributes. The collection also includes numerous scrapbooks, photographs, and audiovisual recordings capturing nearly 100 years of family memories and Berklee experiences. 

Photographs, negatives, slides, and other promotional materials from the late 1990’s to early 2000’s, produced by or for Berklee's Communications office. Images document buildings, student life, selected individuals, and campus events. Berklee College of Music’s Digital Strategy and Communications team promotes Berklee's mission and institutional identity through innovative strategies, content and services that enhance Berklee's brand essence in support of the annual goals of the college, External Affairs team, and in support of recruitment and advancement.

This collection is comprised of over 700 audio reels containing recordings of faculty and student projects, visiting artist clinics, master classes, lectures, annual commencement concerts and ceremonies, and student performances of note. Some of the major figures represented include: Herb Pomeroy, Arif Mardin, Delfeayo Marsalis, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, and Phil Wilson. These recordings were created and/or collected by the music production and engineering (MP&E) department at Berklee College of Music, which has as its mission to educate and train students in the art and craft of music production and engineering.

This ongoing collection is comprised of audio and video recordings of Berklee College of Music events from campus venues including the: Berklee Performance Center, Lawrence and Alma Berk Recital Hall, Steve Heck Room, David Friend Recital Hall, Red Room, and Stan Getz Library & Media Center, from 1995 - to the present. The sources of these recordings include Berklee’s Concert Office, Video Services, and the Stan Getz Library and Media Center. The Library’s Media Development Office collects and prepares these materials for inclusion in the library and college archives collections, as appropriate.

Approximately 3,900 video recordings of clinics, concerts, and other special events on campus spanning 1979-2005 (with most recordings taking place 1985-2004). These recordings are primarily housed on VHS tapes; other formats include Beta and Umatic tapes. Sample event types include: Singer Showcase concerts, commencement concerts, and the dedication and grand opening of the Genko Uchida Building. Berklee College of Music's Video Services department records concert and other event performances throughout the college campus. Reggie Lofton, director of video services, oversaw the production of the videos in this collection. While all materials in this collection may be viewed on-site by appointment, a small selection is also available online as part of the digital collection Inspiring the next generation: music and speeches from legendary musicians, produced with digitization support from George Blood LP and partial funding from the GRAMMY Museum®.

Wayne Wadhams (1946-2008) was a founding member of the Music Production & Engineering Department at Berklee College of Music, where he taught from 1982-2007. This collection includes both teaching materials as well as records from Wadhams’ Boston Skyline label. Formats include paper files, floppy discs, compact discs, LPs, 45s, VHS tapes, Beta tapes, and Digital Audio Tapes. Curricular materials include a copy of the original proposal to establish the music production & engineering department at Berklee.

Guitarist Jeff Friedman '79 served as Professor of Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music for more than twenty years, specializing in the music of Duke Ellington. This collection is comprised of 3 boxes containing his notes, papers, and teaching materials. The bulk of the materials are scores (including some transparencies), but also include articles, a few recordings, articles, and other ephemera by or about Duke Ellington. It is believed these materials were primarily used to support Friedman’s class on Duke Ellington, and it is likely that some of the items were passed down to him by his predecessor, Herb Pomeroy.

Husband and wife Ed and Ruth Williams documented the Boston jazz scene for over 15 years. Ed Williams was a sound engineer and recorded on location countless hours of live performances in the New England area. Ruth Williams was a photographer and published two books capturing these musicians in action. This collection is comprised of multi-track audio recordings (both masters and production copies) and the multi-track recorders modified by Ed Williams to produce them (required for playback). These recordings are complemented by copies of both of Ruth Williams’ books of photographs documenting decades of the New England jazz scene as well as bound indices for the recordings.

Hanging files, bound and loose documents collected by Berklee College of Music Assistant Vice President for External Affairs Rob Hayes, spanning from approximately 1995 - 2013. Materials include institutional reports, press clippings, college handbooks and publications, and a few alumni recordings. Rob Hayes joined Berklee in 1992 and currently serves as Assistant Vice President for External Affairs at Berklee College of Music, where he oversees Berklee Presents, the college’s student touring and broadcasting program; the Media Relations office; and The BIRN, Berklee’s student-run Internet radio station.

Composer and arranger Barrie Nettles was a foundational member of the harmony department at Berklee College of Music, serving as chair and authoring many of its core curricular texts. This collection consists of one box of teaching materials created and compiled by former Berklee faculty member (and chair of the harmony department) Barrie Nettles. Materials include reels, tapes, papers, and textbook drafts. Teaching materials include workbooks and exams for Harmony 1, Harmony 2, Harmony 3, and Harmony 4, as well as exams for Arranging 1 and 2 and Ear Training placement exams.

Don George papers (BCA-024) 

This collection is primarily comprised of musical manuscripts, photographs, a draft of Sweet Man: The Real Duke Ellington, and other personal effects belonging to lyricist Don George (1909-1987). George is perhaps best known for his collaboration with Duke Ellington, particularly the standard “I’m Beginning to See the Light” (1944).

This collection consists of 11 boxes of quarter inch, quarter track analog audio tapes of events held on the Berklee College of Music campus dating from approximately 1969-1995. Campus events recorded include clinics, master classes, concerts, opening convocation, and commencement ceremonies. The exact provenance of the recordings in this collection is unknown, but they are believed to have been generated by Berklee College of Music’s Concert Operations department, known colloquially as the Concert Office, and possibly previously referred to as the BPC (Berklee Performance Center) office.

This collection consists of recordings of various performances within the Berklee College of Music woodwind department collected by Bill Pierce during his tenure as an instructor at the college. The majority of items are audio cassettes (106 total), but other formats include 46 compact discs, 3 VHS tapes, and 14 quarter inch audio reels. Jazz saxophonist Bill Pierce is the current chair of the woodwind department of Berklee College of Music.

For 52 years, Norm Nathan (1926-1996) was a disc jockey and talk show host on various Boston-area radio stations with a penchant for jazz. From 1957 - 1968 Nathan hosted “Sounds in the Night” on WHDH-AM and beginning in 1984 he hosted all-night talk show weekends on WBZ-AM. Programming included jazz performances as well as insightful interviews with musical legends such as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sarah Vaughan. This collection consists of selected audio interviews with notable jazz performers, collected from "Sounds in the night" hosted by Norm Nathan and broadcast on WHDH radio in Boston from the late 1950s into the 1970s.

This collection is comprised of digital copies of the Music Business Journal, dating from the origins of the publication in 2005 - 2013. The Music Business Journal, published at Berklee College of Music, is a student publication overseen by the Music Business/Management department that serves as a forum for intellectual discussion and research into the various aspects of the music business.

The Berklee Alumni Composers Collective was founded by Frank E. Warren ‘76. This collection consists of hard-copy scores for works performed at recitals put on by the Berklee Alumni Composers Collective.

This collection consists of rare popular music periodicals compiled by Berklee's Stan Getz Library under the guidance of former Dean of Learning Resources Gary Haggerty. The extent of the collection is approximately 511 issues spanning the years 1929 - 1971 and featuring the following titles: The Broadside, Broadside (Boston), Broadside (NY), Jazz, Jazz and Pop, Jazz Quarterly, and Metronome.

The personal papers of multi-instrumentalist, Berklee alumnus, and former Berklee faculty member John McGann (1960-2012). McGann’s papers include transcriptions, compositions, teaching materials, and orchestral arrangements created by McGann over the course of his career as a performer, educator, and owner and operator of The Original Custom Transcription Service.

The Collection of five early rock and roll 78 rpm records dating from 1948-1951, highlighting the early years of rock and roll and R&B music in the United States.

The personal papers of Hungarian-American violinist, violist, composer, conductor, and educator Tibor Pusztai (1946-2016), who taught at Berklee College of Music from 1994-2015. Pusztai’s papers include published and unpublished compositions and arrangements, teaching materials, correspondence, clippings, and programs. Audiovisual formats include CDs, DVDs, cassettes, and reel to reel tape. Please note: this collection has been minimally processed.

The personal papers of American saxophonist, educator, and NEA Jazz Master David Liebman (1946-). Liebman's papers include published and unpublished compositions and arrangements, over two thousand individual pieces of audiovisual material, posters, clippings, photographs, and other memorabilia from Liebman’s career that spans almost fifty years.

This collection contains several original charts from Woody Herman and his various big bands. Composers and arrangers of note include Alan Broadbent, Alf Clausen, Tony Klatka, and Dave Lalama, among others. Many of the charts in this collections are originals with added pencil annotations.

This collection has been collated from a number of different sources, primarily the Berklee Office of Public Information records by Alma Berk (BCA-013) and a donation from Berklee's Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice Provost, S. Jay Kennedy. The bulk of the collection are course catalogs for student registration but also contains other publications put out by Berklee College of Music, such as newsletters, convocation reports, and prospectuses. The course catalogs cover 42 of Berklee's first 59 years of operation, and these catalogs provide great insight into both the roots and growth of Berklee's curriculum.

The personal papers of American saxophonist, composer, and educator Laurdine Kenneth “Pat” Patrick, Jr. (1929-1991). Patrick’s papers include published and unpublished compositions and arrangements, teaching materials, correspondence, clippings, programs, and photographs that reflect Patrick’s career as a musician with Sun Ra’s Arkestra, a theatrical composer, and the leader of the Baritone Saxophone Retinue. Note: Materials within this collection may be restricted.

This collection is comprised of press releases distributed by Media Relations, press clippings about Berklee, news articles about Berklee alumni, and news media clippings about Berklee on VHS and DVD. The Berklee College of Music Media Relations records are notable for their ability to provide details about campus events, such as who performed and where performances took place. It is also the primary collection for information about Berklee from the mid-2000s through the 2010s.

This collection contains materials relating to Berklee Today, Berklee College of Music’s alumni magazine. Materials include photographs, letters to the editor, and drafts of magazine articles.

This collection primarily contains recordings on VHS and audiocassette from the 1980s-1990s produced and/or compiled by Berklee College of Music's Career Resource Center as reference resources for students and faculty, including Career Center events, visiting artist clinics and interviews, workshops, lectures, and presentations.

Parts and scores for three overtures composed by Berklee College of Music alumni, commissioned for and performed at the Berklee 60th Anniversary Concert on January 28, 2006.

This collection comprises the original vinyl recordings and printed study scores for the Jazz in the Classroom series produced from 1958-1976 by Berklee School (later College) Music faculty member Herb Pomeroy and administrator Robert Share. The educational series featured music composed, arranged, and performed by Berklee students to demonstrate jazz writing and performance techniques and to showcase the outstanding students of the day. The fully digitized collection is available online.

Materials created and compiled by Benedict J. Pullo, Jr. (1906-1996) in the course of his career as a musician, composer, bandleader and educator, primarily original compositions and arrangements, copyright documentation, audio recordings on tape, clippings, and ephemera.

The papers of American vibraphonist and Berklee faculty member Dave Samuels (1948-2019) primarily pertain to Samuels's performance and recording activities between the 1970s and 2010s. Materials include scores and charts, commercial and unpublished recordings, music studies and teaching materials, and biographical material and ephemera.

The papers of American composer, poet, artist, and craftsman Renick E. Ross (1940-2012) primarily pertain to Ross's composing activities between the 1960s and 2011. Materials primarily include unpublished manuscripts, unpublished sound recordings, and biographical material.

Photographs documenting events, activities, and personnel of Berklee College of Music’s Office of International Programs and other early international outreach initiatives, including Berklee on the Road programs; Berklee International Network (BIN) schools; BIN Summits; and International Programs faculty, staff, and event participants.

Records compiled by Tom Plsek, professor of trombone (1972-2013) and Brass department chair (1989-2013), relating to the activities of the Berklee College of Music Brass department, formalized in 1989, with additional material maintained by Plsek while chair of the trombone department prior to its integration. Material primarily includes programs, circulars, and correspondence for events such as Sackbut Week and Windsday, visiting artist clinics, student recitals, and conferences.


Records related to the governance and operations of the Boston Conservatory. Materials primarily include documents pertaining to the early history of the Conservatory and Board of Trustees minutes from the 1970s through the 2010s, as well as files pertaining to select Conservatory presidents.

Records related to the academic administrative operations of the Boston Conservatory from the 1970s through the 2000s, including institutional self-studies, annual reports, accreditation documents, and faculty resources such as handbooks and bulletins.

Financial records and materials pertaining to property owned and maintained by the Conservatory, such as tax forms, by-laws for degree conferral, and property records such as deeds, contracts, photographs, and design files.

Records from the Offices of Admissions and the Registrar. Admissions materials include admissions catalogs and program circulars, posters and other promotional materials, and sample applications. Registrar records comprise student handbooks, registration materials, course schedules, and selected class rosters.

Collection documenting the Albert Alphin Library and Conservatory Archives operations. Library records include operational and business documents, statistics, policies, collection descriptions, and photographs, as well as research materials relating to the Boston Composers Project. Archives records include planning and administrative documents, and research inquiries.

Collection documenting the operations of the Offices of Development and Alumni Affairs, including grant applications, event records, photographs, fundraising mailings, alumni material, and newsletters.

Records produced and compiled by the Office of Marketing and Communications, including box office reports, catalogs, programs, scrapbooks, promotional materials, photographs, and audiovisual materials.

Materials related to the activities of the music department, including clippings, photographs, promotional materials, as well as faculty papers comprising publications, photographs, musical scores, and audiovisual recordings.

Collection of materials created by or related to the Dance Department, including administrative records, personnel records, event files and ephemera, photographs, circulars, correspondence, clippings, audiovisual recordings, and stage artifacts.

Materials created by or related to the Theater Department and its faculty, including administrative files, programs, photographs, audiovisual materials, and ephemera.

Collection of material created by or related to the Office of Student Affairs or Conservatory alumni, including administrative records, student publications, clippings, photographs, audiovisual materials, and student theses.

Papers of Boston Conservatory founder Julius Eichberg, president of the institution from 1867 until his death in 1893. Materials include published scores and method books, clippings and biographical materials, and images.

Papers of Agide Jacchia, president of the Conservatory from 1920-1932. Materials include compositions and arrangements, correspondence, photographs, and personal study scores.

Papers of Albert Alphin, president of the Conservatory from 1932-1967. Materials primairly include correspondence, speeches and remarks, photographs, clippings, and memorial documents.

Papers of Richard Ortner, Conservatory President from 1998-2017. Materials predominantly comprise speeches and interviews, marketing materials, and records documenting ther merger between the Conservatory and Berklee College of Music.

Personal and professional papers of Jan Veen, founder of Boston Conservatory Dance Division in 1943, and chair of that department until his death in 1967. Materials include correspondence, photographs, writings, clippings, and books relating to or belonging to Jan Veen.

The personal papers of Boston Conservatory Dance Department faculty member Kathrine Amory Hooper, including photo albums, instructional materials, and clippings.

The personal and professional papers of Ruth Ambrose, Boston Conservatory alumni and Chair of the Dance Division from 1967-1989. The collection include materials related to her book, "Jan Veen Remembered"; department records such as clippings, photos, programs, and curricular materials; and a of collection scores, books, and assorted sheet music.

The personal and professional papers of Yasuko "Yasi" Tokunaga, Director fo the Boston Conservatory Dance Division from 1989-2011. Materials include performance programs, clippings, photographs, correspondence, curricular research, and appointment books.

Collection of material pertaining to Boston Conservatory Dance Department Faculty member Julie Ince Thompson, including a posthumously published book of poetry and performance recordings.

The personal papers of Boston Conservatory Dance Department faculty member Faith Clark, including writings, correspondence, books, and performance ephemera.

The encoding of these finding aids and the processing of the majority of these collections were funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

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