Mary Lou Williams Collection

Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981) was a pivotal figure in jazz. She brought many talents to the stage; she was a superlative pianist, composer, arranger, teacher, and the founder of her own record label. When her estate was looking for the right place to house her large collection of materials and memorabilia in 1999, Father Peter O'Brien, Mary Lou Williams' manager and confidant, wanted a site that could foster a greater understanding of her central role in the development of jazz.

It was no surprise that he chose the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers. "The extent and scope of the Institute's collection give the right context for anyone researching the life and work of Mary Lou," said Father O'Brien. He donated 170 boxes of music manuscripts, original artwork, personal correspondence, financial and legal records, photographs, original sound recordings, videotapes, programs, press clippings and other items to the Institute that year.

Please contact us for more information about the collection.