Sonny Rollins’ personal archive acquired

The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture – located in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, New York – has acquired saxophonist Sonny Rollins’ archive. The archive covers sixty years of the artist’s personal and professional life via photographs, annotated sheet music, letters, and musical recordings that have never been heard before.

Kevin Young, author and Director of the Schomburg Center, said: “Having the archive of Sonny Rollins come home here, just blocks away from where he was born and grew into one of our finest artists, provides a connection to the geniuses who made Harlem and whose legacies, like those of James Baldwin and Maya Angelou, also are housed at the Schomburg.”

Highlights from Sonny Rollins archive include personal papers, diaries, notes, and drawings illuminating Rollins’ private thoughts and creative process; recordings of practice sessions from as early as the 1960’s; photographs from Rollins’ travels abroad; and personal correspondence between Rollins and his wife and manager, Lucille Pearson.

The Sonny Rollins archive will be processed over the next year at the New York Public Library’s Services Center in Long Island City and will be made available for research at the Schomburg Center. For more information, go to

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