The cornerstone of the Museum and Archive is a collection of material from the Beiderbecke family that was purchased from Elizabeth Beiderbecke Hart. These items include photos of Bix in his youth, letters he wrote to his family, and documents pertaining to his early years in Davenport.
Other acquisitions include:
• An instrument trunk used by Frank Trumbauer
while touring with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra
• A beautifully-ornamented Bacon & Day banjo
formerly owned by Wolverines musician Bobby Gillette
• A photomontage of Bix with other musicians, formerly part
of the furnishings from Eddie Condon’s jazz club in New York
• The steps from the bandstand at Hudson Lake where Bix played during the summer of 1926
• Scrapbooks belonging to Howdy Quicksell and George Johnson, featuring many unpublished photos and documents.
• Instruments and other items belonging to Bob Gillette, Eddie Condon, Frank Trumbauer, Pee Wee Russell, Chauncey Morehouse, Speigle Willcox, Bill Rank and Jean Goldkette.
In addition we will display many items belonging to Bix Beiderbecke, such as a cornet he owned in his youth, his tux jacket, traveling trunk, and several other personal pieces.
The museum has also recently obtained the Phil and Linda Evans/Scott Black collection. This vast resource, unlike any other in existence, represents Mr. Evans's lifelong quest to find and document the reminiscences of anyone who knew, or was in any way connected to Bix Beiderbecke. It consists of hundreds of letters and tape-recorded interviews. We intend to carefully archive all this material and make it available to scholars from around the world.