Sonny Rollins. Photo: Chuck Stewart / Schomburg Center, New York Public Library.

New York Public Library Acquires Archive of Jazz Artist Sonny Rollins

The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has acquired jazz musician Sonny Rollins’s archive, writes Robin Scher of Artnews. The archive covers sixty years of the artist’s personal and professional life, via photographs, annotated sheet music, letters, and musical recordings that have never been heard before. The collection will be stored in the center’s moving image and sound department in Harlem. “The entire spirit and scope of the Rollins archive show his sophisticated, sustained, and spiritual creative process up close in a way that may best be called literary,” said Kevin Young, director of the Schomburg Center.

“Well, I’m home again. Home, where I absorbed the rich culture which was all around me. Where, on 137th Street, two blocks from the Schomburg, I was born in 1930. This archive reveals my life in music, how someone principally self-taught became taught. How the spiritual light of jazz protected and fed me, as it does to this day,” said Rollins.