RepositoryOxford Brookes University
Extent168 shelves
TitlePaul Oliver Archive of African American Music
DescriptionPaul Oliver (25 May 1927 - 15 August 2017) was an eminent architecture and blues scholar, who produced, edited, and contributed to several books on blues music. He equally contributed to the field through an extensive number of articles, lectures, talks, research trips, and radio shows. This collection includes papers and documents relating to his research, the publication of his books, and his involvement with radio shows. The collection includes personal recordings made by Paul Oliver, including interviews with blues artists, as well as a signficant quantity of commercially produced material, including sheet music, 45s, 78s, LPs, CDs, and others. Where possible, original order has been maintained.

Please note that the catalogue includes the titles of published material, some of which contain overtly racist or racially offensive terms. These have been retained as part of the historical record but do not reflect the views of Oxford Brookes University or its staff.
AccessConditionsAccess in the special collections reading room only.
CreatorNameOliver, Paul Hereford (1927-2017)
AdminHistoryPaul Oliver (25 May 1927 - 15 August 2017) , was born in Nottingham and was a noted historian of both Architecture and African American music. He grew up in Pinner, North West London and attended Harrow Art School, where he began his lifelong interest in African American music. In 1960 he won a grant from the State Department and received financing from the BBC to go to the United States and record Blues Artists. The resulting interviews and photographs from this trip were included in an exhibition at the American embassy in London, as well as providing research for further books. In 1978 he came to Oxford Brookes to join the Architecture department, and continued to research and work in both his fields of interest. He died in Oxfordshire in 2017 at the age of 90.

His publications include a book and LP giving his educational insight into blues, ‘Blues Fell this Morning’; a book containing his interviews from the 1960 American field trip, ‘Conversation with the Blues’; considered to be the first comprehensive history of the genre, ‘The Story of the Blues’; and a book on the vocal traditions on Race Records, ‘Songsters and Saints’.
CustodialHistoryTransferred from Paul Oliver's house and some books from University of Gloucestershire.
ArchNoteThe music scores were catalogued by Louise Willis and Jodi Wilkinson, 2018. The research papers, audio reels and photographs were catalogued by Elizabeth Stubbs and Fabian Macpherson, 2021.
Related MaterialSee Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library (POVAL)
SubjectBlues musicians
Blues (Music)
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