On May 31, Alison paid a visit to the Victorian Jazz Archive, which is located in the south-eastern suburb of Wantirna in Melbourne. The archive has been around since 1996, and collects and preserves a huge range of artefacts pertaining to Australia's jazz history. Volunteers are the backbone of this organisation, and they put on a very warm welcome, happy to share their passion for the archive's enterprise in generous conversation. Alison was taken on a tour of the archive's collection which contains an incredible array of material, including recordings of all kinds, photographs, posters, magazines, books, clippings, and all manner of ephemera related to jazz. While the archive is dedicated to the preservation of this material (and Alison saw lots of evidence of the meticulous work they are doing to preserve the material they are donated), its members and management team are also very keen to make this material accessible to the public, and so aim to operate as a 'living museum'. They offer a range of outreach activities including archive tours, and they actively encourage members of the public to visit and use the archive.
The Victorian Jazz Archive runs entirely on donations, fundraising and the hundreds of hours of hard work donated by its volunteers. Learn more about the archive at their website, http://vicjazzarchive.org.au/