Images from Rutgers Count Basie collection
Photography by Nick Romanenko

For an organization that has a treasure trove of memorabilia, rare music recordings and manuscripts, and scholarly contributions of all sorts, the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University–Newark may have outdone itself after the estate of William J. “Count” Basie was donated to the institute in 2018. When Basie, who was raised in Red Bank, New Jersey, died in 1984, the famous Big Band leader and pianist had accumulated all manner of instruments, musical compositions and correspondence, his signature sailor caps and custom suits—and a wide variety of artifacts. Now, they are on display at the institute, long known in academic circles as the preeminent archive of all things jazz. The exhibit, located within the John Cotton Dana Library at Rutgers–Newark, is on view through February.