Paul Oliver's research material, books and music collection.
Paul Oliver Archive of African American Music
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 3080 POAAAM
- Dates of Creation19th-20th centuries
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description168 shelves
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Paul Oliver was born in Nottingham in 1927. He was a noted historian of both Architecture and African American music, and wrote several books on both subjects. 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.
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The majority of the collection was transferred from Paul Oliver's house and some books were transferred from University of Gloucestershire. Further material was donated to the collection via the European Blues Association (the collection owner).
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