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Don Marquis Collection

Identifier: HJA-002

Scope and Contents

The Don Marquis Collection is primarily comprised of the research materials that Marquis generated in connection with his book, In Search of Buddy Bolden, First Man of Jazz (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978). These include letters, interviews, photographs, material on venues associated with Bolden (Odd Fellows Hall, Union Sons [Funky Butt] Hall, Lincoln Park, Johnson Park), notes on Bolden's sidemen and contemporaries, and material on East Louisiana State Hospital, where Bolden lived out his final years. There is also collection of reviews of the book, and a brace of materials related to the subsequent publication of his journal, Finding Buddy Bolden, First Man of Jazz: The Journal of a Search; and there is a box of material related to the Buddy Bolden Memorial Jazz Funeral that Marquis organized in 1996.


  • Undated


Biographical / Historical

Don Marquis was born in Goshen, Indiana, in 1934. He got hooked on jazz as a teenager, listening to the New Orleans Jazz Club’s weekly broadcasts from WWL. In 1962, following a stint in the Navy and four years of college, he made his way to New Orleans, found a cheap French Quarter apartment, and began to acquaint himself with the traditional jazz scene. While working at the New Orleans Public Library, he began writing for the New Orleans Jazz Club’s publication, The Second Line, and conducting research at the Tulane Jazz Archive. Soon he was focusing on what became his major opus, In Search of Buddy Bolden: First Man of Jazz. Published by LSU Press in 1978, the “Bolden Book” quickly opened doors for Don. In 1979 Marquis was made editor of The Second Line, and this led to his becoming Curator of the Jazz Club Collection at the Louisiana State Museum, where he worked until his retirement in 1996.


17.00 Boxes

Language of Materials


Digitization note

Digitized artifacts from the Donald Marquis Collection are made available thanks to a generous grant from the Jay Pritzker Foundation.
Samantha Bruner
Language of description
Script of description
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Revision Statements

  • 5/24/2020: Revised bio/hist and scope and content notes.

Repository Details

Part of the Tulane University Special Collections Repository

Jones Hall Room 202
6801 Freret Street
New Orleans 70118 US