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Scope of RIPM’s Collection

The initial installment of RIPM Jazz Periodicals contains periodicals published exclusively in the United States of America. At a later date it is our intention, if possible, to include a number of important jazz journals published in other countries. Our definition of “periodical publications” includes those that intended to appear regularly but produced only a single issue, and extends to annual encyclopedias of jazz.

As an organization directing its attention to historical journals, RIPM focuses its jazz collection on supplying access to publications that ceased to appear in the twentieth century. If a journal continues to be published in the twenty-first century, our terminal point remains the twentieth, with four exceptions.¹

RILM (Le Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale) and RIPM collaborate in the production of their respective publications in order to avoid overlap. With jazz periodicals, the collaboration continues with RILM focusing, in the main, on scholarly jazz journals that continue to be published.

There is no exhaustive bibliography of jazz periodicals. Even the most lengthy, the Appendix to the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz,² which contains about 1000 titles, does not include a number of titles that we have examined. Some of these are included in our collection.³ Moreover, approximately half of the titles listed in Grove Jazz fall outside of RIPM’s chronological scope, and many others are too restricted in subject matter to be included in RIPM Jazz Periodicals. Among these are journals that deal exclusively with record and CD reviews, pop music, education, business, individual instruments, and newsletters of jazz performance venues (often in geographical locations of somewhat lesser interest). While one could make a case for including some such titles in a full-text jazz archive, their number is so extensive and their quality so little known that it would be best to separate them out, at least for the moment. Also, excluded are writings on jazz in general music journals, popular magazines, and the daily press. With these limits, there remain approximately 350 – 400 specialized jazz titles that merit consideration for inclusion in RIPM Jazz Periodicals.

The first release of RIPM Jazz Periodicals contains 105 jazz journals, covering the period from 1914 to 2006.

¹ 78 Quarterly (Brooklyn, NY; Key West, FL, 1967-2002); Mississippi Rag (Minneapolis, MN, 1973-2006); Detroit Jazz (Detroit, MI, 1997-2000); Cadence (Redwood, NY, 1976-2000).
² New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, volume III, p. 1068-79.
³ Collegiate Swing (Lexington, VA, 1938); Floy Floy (Chicago, IL, 1938); Cats’ Meow (Detroit, MI, 1938) [becomes Swing: The Guide to Modern Music (Detroit, MI; New York, NY, 1938-1941)]; Bandstand (New York, NY, 1939); Jam Session (New York, NY, 1941); Jazz Notes (Newark, NJ, 1942); The Music Dial (New York, NY, 1943-1945); Hollywood Note (Hollywood, CA, 1946); Good Diggin’ (Portland, OR,1947-1949); Oh Play that Thing (San Francisco, CA, 1948-1952); Climax (New Orleans, LA, 1955-1956); Encyclopedia Yearbook of Jazz (New York, NY, 1956).