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The Brubeck Collection: University of the Pacific

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Our Board member, Lloyd Crenna, recently visited the Holt-Atherton Special Collections at the University of the Pacific Library in Stockton. Special Collections Assistant, Trish Richards and its Director, treated Lloyd to a view of the stacks and The Brubeck Collection. The Collection was established by Dave and Iola Brubeck as a “living archive” to Dave’s legendary career as a musician and composer, and to pass on the legacy of his music to future musicians. The collection consists of a broad range of materials, taking up over 350 linear feet of shelves with hundreds of boxes. 

It not only documents Dave’s musical career, but also the history of jazz from the 1920s to the present as the collection continues to grow. It contains business correspondence, business papers, personal correspondence, biographical materials, clippings, concert programs, promotional materials, memorabilia, photographs, musical scores, sketches, audio materials and video and film materials. It is initially overwhelming but soon begins to reveal the humanity of this wonderful couple and tremendous accomplishments of Dave and Iola. If you go, to start your experience, I recommend that you ask to see MS-4-Collection, Series II-1A-Photos 1890-1939, which contains photos of the Ivey family in Concord (Dave’s mother’s parents), the backyard of the Ivey Brubeck Home in Concord, Dave’s parents Elizabeth Ivey Brubeck and Pete Brubeck, Dave with his brothers in Concord, and early Concord ranching and parade photos.

The Brubeck Collection is open to the public for onsite viewing in the Special Collections reading room at the University of the Pacific Library, 3601 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA, Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm. Although seeing objects and photos relating to Dave’s life in Concord and as a musician is rewarding in and of itself, that’s not all that you can learn from the Holt-Atherton Special Collections. It also contains 75% of all know John Muir documents, including correspondence, journals, notebooks, drawings, photographs, articles and books.

Also kept there is the Japanese-American Internment Collection, which documents the 1942-1946 forced relocation of over 100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry from Pacific Coast states to War Relocation Centers at Manzanar, California, Tule Lake, California and Rohwer, Arkansas.

The images in all these collections, and other interesting subjects, can be accessed at You can access the inventory at

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