The most-valuable source of information on Don Ellis is The Don Ellis Memorial Library. This collection contains over 300 pieces of Ellis’s music, including complete scores, parts, lead sheets, and drafts in ink, in pencil, and on manuscript paper. The collection also includes books, articles, letters, various papers, photographs, and slides. Video cassettes of films, TV for the “French Connection,” various instruments (including his Holton quarter-tone trumpet), letters, records, concert programs, plus numerous achievement and special recognition awards.
In spring 1981, these archives were delivered by the Ellis family to Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas.
While researching my dissertation In January 1998, I traveled to Mesquite, met with the archivist at the time – Curt Bradshaw – and spent a full day gathering information from the archives by photocopying, photographing, and by taking notes into a handheld voice recorder.
In May 2000, the Don Ellis Memorial Library was entrusted to the Ethnomusicology Department at UCLA for storage at the Southern Regional Library Facility, where it currently housed under state-of-the-art temperature and humidity control. The current contact information for the Don Ellis Memorial Library is:
UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive
1630 Schoenberg Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1657