Delilah Jackson papers, 1852-2012
Delilah Jackson papers, 1852-2012
Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library
Atlanta, GA 30322
Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zgw7
Table of Contents
|Title:||Delilah Jackson papers, 1852-2012|
|Call Number:||Manuscript Collection No. 923|
|Extent:||41 linear feet (83 boxes), 113 oversized papers (OP), 1 extra-oversized paper (XOP), and AV Masters: 16 linear feet (20 boxes)|
|Abstract:||Papers collected or created by Delilah Jackson in her research on African American entertainers, including photographs, correspondence, subject files, oral history interviews, and films.|
|Language:||Materials primarily in English with some items in French.|
Restrictions on Access
Special restrictions apply: Use copies have not been made for all audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact the Rose Library at least two weeks in advance for access to these items. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder the Rose Library's ability to provide access to audiovisual material.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Special restrictions apply: The collection contains some copies of original materials held by other institutions; these copies may not be reproduced without the permission of the owner of the originals.
Commercial films located in the audiovisual series may not be reproduced.
Printed or manuscript music in this collection that is still under copyright protection and is not in the Public Domain may not be photocopied or photographed. Researchers must provide written authorization from the copyright holder to request copies of these materials.
The Johnny Hudgins papers were originally part of the Delilah Jackson papers.
Some sheet music originally part of the Delilah Jackson papers has been placed in the African American sheet music collection.
Some material in the Owen Dodson papers were originally part of the Delilah Jackson papers.
Purchase, 2002 with subsequent additions.
[after identification of item(s)], Delilah Jackson papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.
Processed by Sarah Stanton, September 2005. Additions processed by Amber L. Moore, Sarah Quigley, Tricia Hersey, Jason Gutierrez, and Ariel Svarch, 2015.
Delilah Jackson was born and raised in Harlem, New York. She graduated from Wadleigh High School and attended Rapid Computing Business School. The entertainment world of Harlem figured prominently in Jackson's childhood, as her parents were enthusiastic fans of the musicians and performers of the thriving 1930s and 1940s Harlem. Her father was particularly fond of Duke Ellington and his music, and his collection of Ellington ephemera inspired Jackson to become a collector herself. She collected photographs, programs, sheet music, newspaper and magazine clippings, and other ephemera related to Black performers from the Harlem Renaissance to present day.
Besides her interest in the arts and the history of Black entertainers, she forged many friendships with dancers and musicians and dedicated herself to preserving the memories of their accomplishments. She trained with Mary Bruce, the famous Harlem dance teacher, as well as with the Henry Street Settlement's New Federal Theatre. Her true passion, however, lay with the Black Patti Foundation, which she started in 1975. Named for Mme. Sisseretta Jones, famed opera singer of the 19th century, the Black Patti Foundation was created not only to preserve the history of Black dance, music, and theater, but also to produce events that re-introduce and showcase the talents of Harlem's "old timers."
Jackson has served as consultant on numerous documentaries and films, including The Cotton Club. She has lectured at universities, museums, and civic organizations in New York and written for The Amsterdam News. Jackson has one daughter, Jill Theodochia Jackson.
Scope and Content Note
The collection contains materials related to the history of African American dance, theater, and music, particularly from the Harlem vaudeville era. The papers include personal correspondence, scrapbooks, subject files on individual performers, photographs, scripts, programs, oral history interviews, short films, and the records of Delilah Jackson's organization, the Black Patti Foundation. There are some early photographs from the turn of the twentieth century, but the bulk of the photographs date from the 1920s through the 1940s. Of particular note are the rare photographs of little known vaudeville performers, dancers, and singing groups. The oral history interviews are also a very notable part of the collection. There are over 300 recorded interviews with Cotton Club dancers, singers, musicians, photographers, and other performers who recall the culture of Harlem and their own experiences as Black performers over the years.
Organized into eight series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Photographs, (3) Subject files, (4) Black Patti Foundation, (5) Printed material, (6) Scripts, (7) Scrapbook pages, and (8) Audiovisual materials.
- African American dancers.
- African American entertainers.
- African American motion picture actors and actresses.
- African American musicians.
- African American theater.
- African Americans--Music.
- Harlem Renaissance.
- Jazz musicians.
- New York (N.Y.)--Social life and customs--19th century.
- New York (N.Y.)--Social life and customs--20th century.